We’re thrilled and proud to announce that we’ve changed our name to (drumroll please…)
The Queer Big Apple Corps!
This is not the first time we’ve changed our name. We were founded in 1979 as The New York Gay Community Marching Band. In 1983, we changed the name to The Lesbian & Gay Big Apple Corps to reflect the membership at the time. Now, in 2022 we are changing our name for this same reason: to better reflect the membership and the community and make clear that all members of our community are welcome.
Our members march behind every flag, and too many of our members are relegated behind the (+) sign of the LGBTQIA+ acronym. We wanted a name that welcomes everyone, and so we chose queer as an umbrella term that includes all of us. We are all members of a glorious, queer community, no matter how we identify.
The same is true of our audience. When we march in a parade, or play at an event, or appear on national television as we will on November 24th when we will be the first marching band to represent our community in the full, live Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, we want it to be perfectly clear to everyone watching that we represent the entire community.
This was not a sudden decision. Our band contemplated a name change for several years. We held a series of town halls where everyone was given the chance to speak and be heard. Members spoke their truths, bared their souls, and listened hard. We took our time to allow members to forge their own journeys.
We have always been revolutionary with our unique blend of quiet activism and loud music. Our mission is to provide our community and allies with a supportive and friendly environment for musical and artistic expression and, through performance, to promote social acceptance, equality, and harmony for all.
Our new name continues the revolution as we welcome more people into the band and play for larger, more diverse crowds. It also makes a clear statement that we welcome people of every gender, orientation, race, age, and identity. We want every musician and every audience member to know there is room for them under our queer umbrella.