For the first time in the history of the Brooklyn St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Park Slope/Windsor Terrace, an LGBTQ group was allowed to march behind their banner. The Brooklyn Irish LGBTQ+ Organization (BILO) was received with cheers of support from onlookers who had lined the streets along the parade route. Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, Congresswoman Yvette Clark, Assemblymembers Jo Ann Simon and Robert Carroll, and Councilmember Brad Landers marched alongside BILO members in a show of solidarity with the LGBTQ community.
BILO co-founder Lisa Fane, “This is a celebration in every sense of the word, and this is just a beautiful celebration of the diversity of the Irish Community here in Brooklyn This has been a long road. I feel this is the first day and the first step into the next chapter of this parade and the presence of Brooklyn’s Irish LGBTQ community.” She continued, “People want to celebrate, people love unity, they love that connection, and that’s what neighborhood is all about. People will always want to come together.”
The co-founders of BILO, Lisa Fane and Matthew McMorrow submitted a request to the Irish American Parade Committee back in January seeking approval to march in the parade. Assemblymember Robert Carroll, who represents Park Slope and Windsor Terrace played a vital part in the admission process and sent a letter of support to the parade committee.
Now, Staten Island remains the only New York City borough that won’t allow any LGBTQ group to march under their banner.