By Lawrence Pfeil, Jr.
With 165 units from around the world, across the country, and from every borough of the city, New York’s Pride March was a spectacular show of love, community, and most of all creativity. Estimated to last eleven hours before it began, the dazzling rainbow extravaganza was still going strong as the midnight hour approached with NYC Pride organizers revising their estimated finishing time to 1:00AM, or later.
Which begs the obvious question, “was anybody still watching it at that hour?” Absolutely!
According to marchers whose pride lit up the night, crowds were still lining the route when one couple finished at 11pm and hadn’t gone anywhere when another couple finished at midnight. Considering Madonna was performing at Pride Island and Deborah Cox was closing World Pride in Times Square, it gives you some indication of the fabulously creative, spectacle of Pride winding through the streets of Chelsea and the Village.
Here’s a look at the first several hours of the largest Pride March in history, which the world gathered to witness and as they celebrated “Stonewall 50.”
Paying respect to those who were the reason for the celebration of Pride, the lead car honored two of the Community’s heroines, followed by some of those first activist who are still with us today.
With New York City hosting the first bi-annual celebration of World Pride in the US, some of the 1200 InterPride members were welcomed down Fifth Avenue. Each of the 57 member units brought their own creative greeting from as far away as Australia, Germany and Amsterdam; and as close to home as Nevada and Palm Springs.
Many LGBT+ organizations brought the Pride, including Trevor Project, serving as one of the Grand Marshals, New York’s own LGBT Center, Gay Men’s Health Crisis, and GALA of the NYPD.
There has been much to do and controversy about “corporate takeover” of the Pride March and how commercialism was overshadowing activism. So much so, it caused a schism and an anti-march was held. It’s worth noting, the first corporate float didn’t appear until two and half hours into the March, after international and national LGBT+ groups as well as government officials who fight for equality and civil rights. Certainly, there were corporations, like Deutche Bank and CapitalOne, whose presence were egregiously offense considering they finance and launder money for and/or are a tenant of the President who is actively rolling back LGBT+ civil rights and promoting hate.
Hopefully NYC Pride will do a better job of vetting March applications in the future. With any luck, New York State Attorney General, Letitia James will have them held to account very soon. When I shouted out in a grateful voice, “You’re Trump’s worst nightmare!” this was her reaction.
Seriously, that was her reaction!
Pride and creativity, we not only on display in the street it was everywhere in the crowd as well.
Ok, at some point, you gotta march!
Proud Faces in the crowd
The rush of walking past the Stonewall Inn, as part of the NYC Pride March on the last Sunday in June never changes and never gets old.
Read my report on the World Pride Closing Ceremonies via The Randy Report below!
All images (c) Lawrence Pfeil, Jr. 2019