Pride is one of the most magical times of the year. And no one can deny that this Pride was one for the record books. A time of celebration and empowerment. New York Pride is pinnacle of all events around the world thanks to the progress that has been made since advent of the Gay Liberation movement ignited at Stonewall. This year’s Pride parade landed on the one year anniversary of the SCOTUS ruling on marriage equality (and on my first official post.)
Our community has come a long way, but we still have a lot to fight for. The past couple of weeks has had the world reeling in the wake of the worst mass shooting in our nation’s history – an act of hate first and terror second pointed towards LGBTQ people.
As I’m trying to write this post, I find myself constantly at a road block. I can’t seem to find the right way to express in words what’s going through my mind. I’m sad. I’m angry. I’m numb. But I’m also inspired, appreciative, and enlightened. We don’t live in a world where we can sit back in silence and hope that change will come naturally. We must mourn the loss of the 49 victims in Orlando and turn that mourning into fighting, whether large or small. Attend a rally, sign a petition, work to overturn the Red Cross’s ban on sexually active gay men from donating blood so we can help our brothers and sisters in times of crisis, chant, scream, yell, live your authentic life, and have a conversation.
With all the pain and suffering the LGBTQ community has suffered throughout history, what I love the most is the resilience. Suffering only makes us stronger, more loving, more caring, more ready to stand up for our right to live and love freely.
In my house, not a word was shared about Orlando until a few days later when I happened to walk through the kitchen and the local news was talking about new evidence.
“I hope you’re not planning to go that New York festival, it’s not going to be safe.”
The only response I could give was simple: “Orlando only makes me want to go 1000x more.” I refused to cower in fear of expressing myself as I am. I knew I needed to be a part of one of the greatest celebration by and for my community. I needed that positive energy. And my god, was it as positive as ever.
As most of you know, New York is probably my favorite place in the world. I feel more at home there than I do in my own house (& I really love my house, too). The diversity, the love, the history, the food, the spirit, the everything of New York is just plain magical to me. And that magic is heightened when the city lights up into a rainbow. Experiencing New York during Pride is liberating. Experiencing New York at any time of the year is life changing, but Pride is something different. Something unexplainable.
This year’s Pride was no different. I explored new parts of the city I never got the chance to, stayed in one of the coolest Brooklyn Airbnb’s I think exists, made a flower crown at Swedish Midsommar festival on the Hudson, drank Calvi wine, people watched and listened to a grand piano play in Washington Square park, partied at one of New York’s most popular gay clubs, caught up with old friends, made new friends, watched the sunrise over Manhattan from a Park Slope rooftop, watched the parade, and just simply lived.
And let me tell you, this weekend taught me more than I can ever even think to put into words. Pride is something that’s hard to capture in photos or in writing – Pride needs to be experienced first hand. It’s transformative. It’s freeing. It’s ethereal. It’s gay as fuck.
This post features friends Ashley, Gabby, Madeleine and Dan.
Bonus: Pride Insta’s from this and last year #sogay