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pride and joy

Same-sex marriage was legalized in New York State late last Friday. I feel happy and moved and proud to be a New Yorker. It's another step toward greater equality.

Here are some pictures from today's Gay Pride Parade taken from the corner of Fifth Ave. and 33rd St:

My angle was awkward -- I was standing on the NW corner and the parade was coming from uptown, and there was a camera and crew just to my left, so I couldn't get any more frontal shots and missed many great moments with AMAZING costumes. There were a LOT of variations on the wedding dress theme, and I practically cheered myself hoarse. Here's a more "typical" moment ;) :

I loved that Macy's (and many other big companies, like Google and TD Waterhouse) participated:

This shot's kind of grainy and blurry because I was zoomed in so far, but I like the framing. The float was full of scantily clad "sailors" and was led by two drag queens, one in a full-feathered rainbow costume and the other in an American flag costume:

Several religious and national groups were represented as well:

Another shot:

I found reminders that this is a longtime and ongoing struggle particularly moving:

There was a pair of white women who looked like they were in their fifties wearing a sign that read, "Engaged for Thirty Years." They walked at a sedate pace, swinging their held hands slightly. They were smiling and looking around, and also talking with each other. So many of the people there -- paraders and spectators alike -- were so giddy and loud that this couple stood out to me. They weren't even wearing much make-up, if at all. I felt a lump in my throat. As a member of some minority groups, I have been in situations in which I felt like I needed to exaggerate some parts of me in order for my existence to be acknowledged. There were times when I felt resentful; there were times when I have confused my persona with my self. I celebrate and cherish the right to behave flamboyantly now and then -- but what I want, from day to day, is the ability to be quietly and confidently me, and to know that I am seen and heard, just as I am.

PS: It was extra-special and fun because I was there with zandperl , who I haven't been in touch with for some time, and we got to hang out and catch up :) .


( 21 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 26th, 2011 11:17 pm (UTC)
Thank you for the pictures - this is a weekend to remember. :D
Jun. 27th, 2011 03:39 pm (UTC)
Thank you for being one of the people who made this weekend feel more real, powerful, and joyful.

Back around 2002, I came across A Raising in the Sun, and I was completely agog at how it exceeded my every expectation for fan fiction -- it didn't just reset the bar, it built a whole new jungle gym. Naturally, I started poking around and lurking to try to find out more about the author. I soon realized that you were a lesbian, and I remember my first reaction very clearly: "Isn't she afraid?"

I hope that, with more big and small acts of courage by many more people, someday this question will only make historical sense.
Jun. 26th, 2011 11:18 pm (UTC)
OMG YAY!!!! I adore the Macy's balloons!

So full of squee.

Jun. 27th, 2011 03:43 pm (UTC)
I know! I thought of you when I saw them, and I said, "I have to get this for Kathy!"

Counting the days until your arrival :)
Jun. 28th, 2011 01:03 am (UTC)

Me, too!
Jun. 26th, 2011 11:34 pm (UTC)
The photos are great. It's great to see businesses and religious groups participating.
Jun. 27th, 2011 03:45 pm (UTC)
Thanks! It was my first gay pride parade -- somehow the timing never worked out before -- and I felt so happy to see support coming from such diverse sources.
Jun. 28th, 2011 02:15 am (UTC)
My first time in San Francisco I got off BART at Montgomery Street station and walked right into a gay pride parade. Best. Introduction. to SF. EVER.
Jun. 28th, 2011 02:41 pm (UTC)
> Best. Introduction. to SF. EVER.

Wow! Yeah!
Jun. 27th, 2011 12:08 am (UTC)
Yay! You've caught up with us here in Iowa:P
Jun. 27th, 2011 03:47 pm (UTC)

There's a Chinese saying, "Jian xian si qi," which, roughly translated, means, "When one observes wisdom, think about how to match it."

In other words, better late than never ;)
Jun. 27th, 2011 01:56 am (UTC)
Lovely pictures, and lovely thoughts.

(If you're interested, I posted some thoughts and pics back when Massachusetts legalized same sex marriage, here and here.

'round here, the pride parade has some flamboyant drag queens and dykes on bikes... but also church groups, youth groups, hospital employees, and soforth. It's nice.

It's important that HIV/AIDS not be forgotten... not just in the gay men's community, but for straight women as well, particularly women of color, and IV drug users. And well, everywhere.

Jun. 27th, 2011 03:51 pm (UTC)
Thank you SO MUCH for posting the links! I got teary all over again at reading your account and seeing your pictures.

{{{hugs back}}}

You rock :D
Jun. 27th, 2011 09:45 pm (UTC)
:) It was a good day. The m/f couple who got a license at my city hall that day also chose that day deliberately.

Massachusetts has a three day waiting period on all marriage licenses, unless a judge issues a waiver. I remember some of the couples who'd filed the lawsuit to begin with got waivers and got married at midnight the first day it became legal.
Jun. 27th, 2011 02:13 am (UTC)
Woot! Thank you for sharing the pictures. Your story of the two women holding hands brought tears to my eyes, in the best possible way.
Jun. 28th, 2011 02:42 pm (UTC)
Thank you!

They reminded me of rahirah and wildrider, even though they looked a little older :)
Jun. 27th, 2011 02:53 am (UTC)
*Hugs* thanks so much for going with me. It was really touching to see so many people from so many backgrounds all cheering their hearts out in support of each others' rights.

NY is one up on MA in that a large group of people who had experienced privilege all their lives voluntarily chose to extend a hand out to such an underprivileged group as GLBTs. I don't know that the MA Senate and House could have passed such a bill.
Jun. 27th, 2011 03:13 am (UTC)
Weellll, except, the Massachusetts legislature could have decided (by simple majority) to put an amendment banning same-sex marriage before the voters.

They didn't. Per Wikipedia:

In order to amend the state constitution, it is necessary for an amendment first to receive sufficient support at two state constitutional conventions (a joint meeting of the General Court, i.e. the House of Representatives and the Senate) held during two successive two-year sessions, before going before the voters in a referendum. An amendment put forward by legislators needs a majority (101 out of 200) at two constitutional conventions and an amendment put forward by petition needs a 25% vote (50 out of 200) at two constitutional conventions. An amendment that would forbid same-sex marriage, establish civil unions for same-sex couples conveying the same rights and responsibilities as marriage, and convert existing same-sex marriages into civil unions passed the first constitutional convention but was defeated in the second.[10]

Granted, it's easier to let existing law stand than to pass the a new law.

OTOH, we've come a long way as a culture in the U.S. since 2004 -- same sex marriages have been legal in Massachusetts since then. The court decision was made in 2003 -- eight years ago when Massachusetts became the first U.S. state and only the sixth jurisdiction in the world to legalize same-sex marriage.

New York is the sixth state.

Could Massachusetts have passed same-sex marriage in 2011? It's just speculation, but I say, fuck yeah.
Jun. 28th, 2011 03:01 pm (UTC)
*hugs back*

It really was a good day -- and part of what made it so good was that we could point things out to each other and share them :)

I've got the blue "=" flag up in our living room -- Ignacio really appreciates it, too. Thanks for finding it for us :)
Jul. 2nd, 2011 03:04 pm (UTC)
Great pictures!!! Jim and I went to our first pride parade with some friends (together 25 years no legal marriage available here for them yet, sadly, but believe me they are spouses!).

I am so glad you are getting out and having a good time.

I am SO proud of NY! It has always been such a progressive state that they just HAD to legalize marriage.

Jul. 5th, 2011 02:43 pm (UTC)
Thank you, Kathleen!

Thank you also for the adorable talking-puppy card! It is the cutest thing ever!

( 21 comments — Leave a comment )