Topless women march for breast-baring rights in New York

The GoTopless Pride Parade in New York City was one of 60 events planned nationwide for the annual GoTopless Day.
By Ben Hooper  |  Aug. 24, 2015 at 11:14 AM
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NEW YORK, Aug. 24 (UPI) -- Dozens of women bared their breasts and marched in New York for topless rights as part of a coordinated worldwide GoTopless Day.

The march in New York, where it has been legal for women to go topless in public since 1992, aimed to desexualize female toplessness and take a stand for a woman's right to bare her breasts amid promises from New York Mayor Bill de Blasio to crack down on topless panhandlers in Times Square.

The topless marchers, which some reports counted at up to 300, held signs bearing slogans including "women's breasts are family friendly" and "desexualize boobies."

Nadine Gary, president of the parade's organizer, GoTopless, said de Blasio's blasting of the Times Square performers as "unacceptable" reinforces the stigma against women going shirtless in public.

"He's exacerbating the situation and reinforcing the stigma," Gary told The Wall Street Journal. "Leave them alone, it's no big deal. This will pass as women become more comfortable showing their breasts."

De Blasio spokeswoman Karen Hinton said being topless is "not at issue."

"The mayor is troubled by the aggressive solicitation of both tourists and residents for money," she said.

Katie Lombardo, 26, an event coordinator from Long Island, posed for photos with spectators during the march.

"Free your mind! Free your nipples!" the New York Daily News quoted her as shouting during the event. "Men can walk around shirtless all the time. Why can't we? I love it. This is about the genders being equal."

GoTopless Day events were planned in about 60 other cities Sunday, including Los Angeles, Chicago, Austin and San Francisco.

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