Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Rainbow Sunday: New York Gay Pride March

After 7 months living in New York, last weekend I finally got to see famous people and paparazzi for the first time. Saturday, I came across the model Heidi Klum while she was preparing to shoot a hair spray commercial at the Flatiron building, then Cyndi Lauper opened the Gay Pride March on Sunday, followed by New York State’s Governor.

It was the first time I attended a Gay Pride parade; I wanted to share with you my experience as it was a festive, colorful and truly touching event. And you know how I love parades...

Welcoming hundreds of thousands of spectators crowded along Fifth Avenue, 8 th Street and Christopher Street in the West Village, this year’s March was celebrating the first anniversary of the state's same-sex marriage law. It was an important one.

Having for a theme “Share the Love” – which aims to encourage other states to pass similar legislation –, the parade began with motorcycles and a giant double arch of multicolored balloons floating above the streets of Manhattan.

All afternoon, people from all sexual orientations and cultural backgrounds were wandering in floats, dancing, singing and clapping hands to signify their support to the gay right movement.


Christopher Street was definitely the best location to get great views as well as a local feeling. Not only is the street narrow and filled with lovely houses and trees, it added a lot to the experience to see the gay residents enjoying the parade from their front steps or second and third story windows. The global ambiance there helped me imagine what the event probably was like, when it started 42 years ago.

I went on NYC Gay Pride’s website to find out how these festivities started and I learned that in the morning of June 28, 1969, the Stonewall Inn, which is situated in Greenwich Village and had become a staple of New York City's underground gay community, was raided by police. Its members, tired of the ongoing raids, fought back, striking what would become known as The Stonewall Riots. A year after these events, the first Gay Pride March was held to commemorate the riots.

A lot has obviously been accomplished since then. But there is still so much to do.

More pictures:

Have you ever attended events related to Gay Pride?

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