Rainbow Rising In Resistance at the Pride Parade

26 Jun
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The Tide Is Rising

The excitement was already noticeable on the parade route on 5th Ave. well before the 47th annual Pride March got under way.  Parade organizers made this year’s theme “We Are Proud” as the well over 1 million revelers were ready for one of the biggest parties of its kind in the nation.  For the first time, the annual event was televised on a national network, WABC, to millions of viewers across the country. An estimated 40,000 marchers were on hand surpassing last years effort and making this parade one of the biggest in the city this year. As usual kicking off the parade was the thunderous roar of hundreds of motorcycles from the Sirens MC, sending the crowd into a frenzy into what would be an amazing event. The crowd was treated to some parade VIPs that have an outstanding impact on the lives they touch. Grand Marshall ACLU members with Gavin Grimm, a transgender student fighting for the right to use the restroom with the gender most identified with were waving to the crowd.  Right behind them was truly one of NYs Bravest, Brooke Guinan, the first transgender firefighter in NYC. GMHC Asst Director, Krishna Stone and Asian online dating founder of Blued, Geng Le made the start of the parade of immeasurable importance.

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FDNY Bravest Brooke Guinan

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The Fight Is On

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Proud to Resist

 

As usual, local politicians walk down the parade route to the cheers of the excited crowd. The cheers were loudest for NYS Governor Andrew Cuomo for his leadership in getting same sex marriage and rights pushed through in NY in 2011. But the work can’t stop there. Gov. Cuomo did boycott state sponsored travel North Carolina over that states anti-LGBT stance. With the current climate in Washington DC bent on having important policies reverting to States discretion, the battleground for LGBT rights could start to erode if left up to some State legislatures. There was a loud and clear message sent by activists all throughout the parade that they will not back down without a fight. Issues from healthcare, to police brutality to trans discrimination to climate change were all on the agenda and this helped to raise awareness. The tide is definitely rising and the Resistance movement is in full force and gaining more momentum.

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Joining Forces

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Big Band Swinging It

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Flaggots Doing Their Thing

 

Corporate sponsorship was huge in the parade and Delta and T-Mobile had some of the biggest crowds. Even conservative leaning Disney got in on the action.  In this parade, a few contest judges stationed over on 6th Ave. and 8th St. got a chance to review the many floats, bands, and performers. The choices were tough since there was so much talent to pick from.   A perennial favorite are the Flaggots with their precision flag tossing. They really got a huge ovation from the crowd especially as they headed right past the Stonewall Inn. Sometimes big surprises come from the least expected places. A float from the Metropolitan Community Church of NY had a nice rap about love and Jesus.  A growing favorite is PFLAG group with groups from all over the Tri-state area.  They got a huge ovation from the exuberant crowd. Another crowd favorite is the Lesbian and Gay Big Apple Corps. They really got the crowd worked up.  Growing in vast numbers is the international contingency. Groups representing all parts of the world marched in some stunning costumes. It was especially inspirational to see groups from the Middle Eastern countries representing. A spirited group from Korea played traditional drum beats with Resist signs all over.

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PFLAG Getting Much Love

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International Groove

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Mouse Ears in Tune

 

This was one of the best parades the city has seen this year. Pride was evident everywhere you looked. From the seniors to the kids, people were all caught up in a the biggest party and love fest to date. Love is Love is Love.

 

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Photos contributed by: Albert J Terc

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