This past weekend I had an incredible and unique experience: parading through Manhattan in the NYC Pride Parade. It was my first time at NYC pride and my second time at a pride parade (first one was the first annual New Paltz pride parade). I had heard stories and seen pictures, so I definitely had some expectations – and boy were they exceeded!
Firstly, the police kept pushing us around and would not let us in to meet with the group that we marched with (Intact America). So after running from street to street with my friend and her 2 kids, we ended up sneaking in when they moved barricades to let a street cleaner through. If we had not, it would probably have been a lost cause.
Well, little did we know, we might as well have arrived late on purpose, because all that happened, for more than 2 and a half hours, was standing around and waiting.
Once our part of the parade finally started moving, the experience was just amazing. It was like a giant party in the streets, with the dance music blasting, feathers and confetti on the ground, and the drag queen in front of us! To see mid-town dressed in proud rainbows, flags and banners waving through the air, well that was nothing compared to the Village and Christopher Street: people dancing, cheering, jumping, dressed up, dressed down, half-naked, waving flags, clapping… Lots of signs thanking the governor! One of my favorite parts: seeing all the people watching and partying from their balconies!
All in all, one of the happiest events I’ve ever been to! I wish we could bottle up the feeling and bring it to all those that have to suffer in the closet, so that they know there is an escape and there are places where it is celebrated to be yourself!