Sunday, June 29, 2014
My Gay Agenda for NYC Pride 2014
Yes, I miss the 18 years at 12 Fifth Ave. in Manhattan when the march would proceed past my building and where I hosted many brunches. We'd all go down to the stoop to watch, with refreshments, and the john was right upstairs.
I first participated in the march in 1974 when it was a grass roots one that couldn't be mistaken for a parade. Since that time, I've seen many victories for LGBT people and, yet, the struggle for equality continues, seems endless.
We are now 45 years from the Stonewall Riots and still we observe and celebrate the public uprising that sparked the modern gay liberation movement. Without a group to march in, and hating the crush of the crowds and the abominable long lines to the Port-o-Sans and police barriers to herd the human traffic along and the heat, I will opt to stay home and observe, from afar, a ritual I have participated in throughout the '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s and '10s, often marching, later more frequently an observer, always a supporter in heart and mind.
So, pardon me if I sit this one out. I'm thrilled it's a sunny day for the march, and a nice evening for the dance and the fireworks over the Hudson River. Tomorrow, I will read The New York Times' coverage and head count. It is a tally of the marchers only (not the sidewalk crowds observing) and still often suspiciously low when pitted against our own observations. The New York Post will concentrate on any kind of misbehavior on the street and clutch the pearls at how much skin is revealed, no matter the sweltering heat.
I am glad younger generations of gay men, lesbians, transgendered and bisexual people will participate and take up the cause for equality and social progress while older ones might wonder once more if the event has gotten overly commercialized. In the end, though, we are all part of the same movement and we share a social status; we are all alike in at least one unique way.
And, Buddy Beaverhausen ultimately observes, social protests are always sexy and you might get laid at today's celebration. Play safe as I drop off my gay laundry!