Thursday, July 1, 2010
Happy Gay Pride Day
The Gay Pride Parade on Fifth Avenue
This past Sunday was Gay Pride Day in New York City. It was the twenty-fourth that Ted and I celebrated together! And that's what I'm proud of.
We started the day at our liberal and artistic church, Judson Memorial on Washington Square South. The service began with a flash mob – a public dance in Washington Square choreographed by Aiden O'Shea and Alana Hartman, which ended with two women getting married. Ted participated; here he is in the center in white shirt and blue shorts.
Here he is again, arms outstretched. Ain't he cute?
Then we went inside for a happy service led by associate pastor Michael Ellick with wonderful music from music director Michael Connelly. It was a joy, I'll tell you that. Growing up Catholic in upstate New York I never in my farthest dreams imagined that I would be in a Sunday church celebrating gay pride.
Then it was off to march in the parade down Fifth Avenue. It was hot out, really hot. It's such a different experience to watch the parade from the sidelines, and then step into the parade. People are looking at you and waving and cheering so you wave and cheer back, it's kind of like you're on center stage. Ted and I walked by a group and they yelled at us, "You're beautiful!" Marching in the parade is a wonderful experience.
Behind us there were cheerleaders flying through the air the entire way down Fifth Avenue. I don't know how they did it.
My favorite part of the parade: all three churches on lower Fifth Avenue are out on the curb offering welcome cups of cold water to marchers – Marble Collegiate Church, First Presbyterian and Church of the Ascension, Protestant churches all.
We were saying to the people giving out water, "Thank you," and they were saying back to us, "Thank you."
Unlike Catholic Saint Patrick's Cathedral where in the past marchers could not even stop or go up the steps. Ugly right-wing fundamentalists stationed there with placards yelled hideous things to the marchers passing by. Shame on Saint Patrick's.
We walked past the Flat Iron building, one of the most striking and elegant in New York, built in 1903 by Daniel Burnham.
The ad on this bus shelter said "Live United" and I liked it combined with the American flag. It was extremely disappointing, to say the least, that marriage equality was defeated in New York state this year.
I say live and let live.