Bravo fans at the NYC Pride Parade on Sunday had a lot to cheer for, when stars from all across the network gathered together on a special float to celebrate World Pride and the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, which started the gay rights movement.
PEOPLE had a front-row seat to the action as nearly 20 Bravolebrities, each decked out in their own unique rainbow and sparkly attire, piled onto the colorful float.
Among the crowd were Housewives galore, like Real Housewives of Atlanta stars NeNe Leakes, Cynthia Bailey, Eva Marcille, and Marlo Hampton; Real Housewives of New York City stars Dorinda Medley, Tinsley Mortimer, and Sonja Morgan; Real Housewives of New Jersey stars Teresa Giudice, Melissa Gorga, and Margaret Josephs; as well as Gizelle Bryant (Real Housewives of Potomac), Kelly Dodd, (Real Housewives of Orange County), and LeeAnne Locken (Real Housewives of Dallas).
They weren’t the only ones partying it up. Reza Farahan (Shahs of Sunset), Billie Lee (Vanderpump Rules), Captain Sandy Yawn (Below Deck: Mediterranean) and Patricia Altschul (Southern Charm) were there too, with a few familiar faces from the network: Daryn Carp, and Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen‘s mascot, the Gay Shark.
Drag Queens Jackie Cox, Chelsea Piers, Ginger Snap and Paige Turner turned up as Drag Lisa Rinna, Drag Erika Jayne, Drag Captain Sandy, and Drag Lisa Vanderpump (respectively).
Andy Cohen oversaw it all, standing atop the float and wearing a T-shirt from the Silence = Death Project — an AIDS activist group which formed in 1987 (the image later became associated with the ACT UP coalition).
All talent danced along the way to “Andy’s Ultimate Bravo Pride Playlist (Peace Bisquit Mixtape)“, a collaboration between Cohen, Bravo and DJ Bill Coleman of Peace Bisquit. The diva-heavy setlist included Madonna’s “Hung Up,” Cher’s “Believe,” Katy Perry’s “Firework,” Diana Ross’ “Love Hangover,” Britney Spears’ “Toxic,” Beyoncé’s “Run The World (Girls),” Mariah Carey’s “Emotions,” and RuPaul’s “Sissy That Walk.”
A handful of tunes from Bravo talent were blasted as well, like “Money Can’t By You Class” (by Luann de Lesseps, of RHONY), “Xxpen$ive” (by Erika Jayne, of RHOBH), “On Display” (by Gorga), and of course, “Tardy for the Party” (by Kim Zolciak-Biermann, of RHOA and Don’t Be Tardy).
Swag like sunglasses and stickers were passed out to those lining the New York City streets.
Many of the Bravo stars have known one another for years and told PEOPLE they soaked up the chance to spend time together. “It’s just so fun to be in one place with everyone,” said Locken, who ate at a group dinner at the Sanctuary Hotel’s Tender restaurant the evening before.
“I love the everyone who is here,” said Yawn. “I watch the Housewives, Southern Charm, Shahs of Sunset. I’m a fan of these shows, but also of these people. We’re a big family, and everybody here, they’re all so cool.”
“This is what BravoCon is going to be like,” said Morgan, referencing the network’s upcoming convention. “Just you wait!”
But mainly, being at the event was a chance for the Bravo stars to give back to a community that’s supported them from the beginning.
“It’s a great unifying experience for all of us,” said Altschul. “All my friends are gay, and I’d assume, many of the people on this float’s friends are too. Anything I can do to support pride, I’m all in favor of.”
“So many members of the gay community love us because we’re always ourselves,” said Leakes. “I live out loud, like many of these women. And they respect us for that because they have always had to fight to do that in their lives.”
“It’s all about love,” continued Bailey, who brought 19-year-old daughter Noelle Robinson to the event. “We’re allies, and we’re here to show our support and that love is love, no matter what.”
Said Josephs: “So many people have been marginalized, and for us to have this amazing platform and voice to help everybody, it’s so great.”
For Farahan, the experience was particularly emotional.
“I’m so honored because I come from a country where people who are gay are executed,” he told PEOPLE. “So to be a U.S. citizen, and to be a part of World Pride as an out gay man? The significance is not lost upon me. Yes, there’s all all of the fun and the glamor around us. But if I were in the country of my birth, I would be dead. But in the United States of America, I get to be fabulous and I get to be myself and I get to share this day with all these beautiful people. I am truly the most blessed.”
“It’s amazing,” said Yawn. “It’s emotional to be here. It’s all walks of life. It’s just about love. It doesn’t matter who you love, it’s just about love.”
And Marcille, who is pregnant with her third child, also saw the significance of being at the event as a mother.
“Having children and not knowing what they will be or what God has blessed them to become, but knowing that I will give them a support system no matter what, that’s a message I want everyone to understand. I had to be a part of this, just to spread that message of love. It’s about accepting everybody the way you are.”