A few thoughts on NYC Pride
By Geoffrey Kidwell (actor)
I won't lie. After five hours of standingin the sun, my feet were tired and I was ready to go home or to drink.
I had never been to any Gay Pride events before. I came out about ten years ago while I was still living at home in Los Angeles, but for some reason I never felt inspired to partake in the festivities. I suppose that's why when I moved to New York about six years ago, I avoided the whole celebration, telling myself that it was really just a bunch of silliness - drag queens and muscle boys in speedos frollicking down the street while really bad house music blasted from speakers propped up on a flatbed truck decorated with rainbow flags.
I was wrong.
A few days before Pride here in NYC, my boyfriend asked me what I wanted to do to celebrate. I thought that was kind of funny because truthfully, I didn't want to do anything and thought the idea of heading down to the West Village for the parade was about as appealing as sitting through another Kathie Lee Gifford musical (Sorry, y'all but Scandalous just wasn't doing it for me.)
But relationships are about compromise, right? Sometimes you do things you don't want to do. You just cry through it and then hash it out with your therapist.
It's not that weird if he wants me wear a diaper and act like a baby every now and then.
Okay, so I agreed to go. We parked our tanktop, cut-off short wearing selves directly in front of The Stonewall - ground zero for all things gay. It's like Mecca, or the Wailing Wall, or In-N-Out.
What I had not prepared myself for was how genuinely moving and inspiring the next few hours would be.
One of the first cars to slowly roll by carried in it one of the true leaders in the modern gay rights movement, Edie Windsor. If you don't know who she is then you can read about her here.
(Edie Windsor at this years Pride Parade in NYC)
The car she rode in was surrounded by hundreds of people with signs that read, "Thank you, Edie," and "I'm with Edie." And the people that carried these signs came in all shapes and sizes - gay parents with their children, elderly couples who had been partnered for years and could now finally receive federal benefits, big old butch lesbians and yes, even those boys whom I had written off as being nothing but pretty.
What followed was an experience I had not anticipated and will not soon forget. I watched as thousands of people, one after the other, marched in the name of love, acceptance, inclusion and yes, pride.
I felt as though I were a part of a real community of people who have come a long way and will continue to fight and struggle until we as a nation live up to the belief that "all men are created equal."
I felt overwhelmed and so grateful to be gay.
Really and truly. Grateful.
As gay people, we come from a long line of artists, intellectuals, teachers, political figures, athletes, moms, dads, sisters and brothers. We are everywhere and our cultural ancestry is ncredibly rich. We have to remember that. We have to look back on where we've been in order to know where we ought to go.
There is room for all of us, club kids, butch dykes, twinks, moms and dads, businessmen, etc. We all express our being gay a bit differently but the truth is, at the center, we all have had the great fortune of having been born gay.
This years Pride festivities reminded me that, yes, being gay is a gift.
Do you hear me?
I was reminded of that fact while watching all of those thousands of proud LGBT men and women march down the streets of New York declaring their right to love exactly as God (if you're into that sort of thing, as I am) made them to love.
What an honor.
AND NOW...THE WEEK IN WHITNEY HOUSTON!!!
As if I wasn't gonna show y'all this video the day after The Fourth of July. God Bless America!!