Rainbow balloons, desserts, and flags set the backdrop for Proskauer’s annual Pride month event, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising. Hosted by the Firm’s LGBTQ Affinity Group in partnership with the LGBT Bar Association of Greater New York, the evening kicked off with never-before-seen excerpts from the New York City Opera’s newly-commissioned opera Stonewall. Outstanding performances by singers Jessica Fishenfeld, Jordan Weatherston Pitts, Brian James Myer and Lisa Chavez helped the audience connect with characters who participate in the momentous uprising at the West Village bar. Michael Capasso, director of the New York City Opera, provided context for each of the performances, highlighting the passions that drove each of the characters who depict previously under-represented groups in the historic LGBTQ+ movement.
The performances were followed by a panel, moderated by Proskauer’s LGBTQ Group’s Co-Chair Brittany Benavidez, featuring Amazon-distributed filmmaker Tourmaline, Michael Capasso and Brian James Myer. Brittany opened the panel with a discussion of Tourmaline’s recent film Happy Birthday, Marsha!, which imagines LGBTQ+ activists and community leaders Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera in the hours leading up to the Stonewall uprising. Each member of the panel went on to share stories of how Stonewall has impacted their personal and professional lives. The panel concluded with a discussion about areas of growth in the LGBTQ+ community, focusing on the upcoming world-premiere of Stonewall the opera and the construction of new monuments, built to honor Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera.