PRIDE 2016 was a little more frustrating this year at first — the necessary increased security by NYPD plus NYPD counterterrorism was augmented by Secret Service because Hillary Clinton joined city and state leaders at the front of the march in the West Village. Also, untold thousands more people joined in the marching groups than previously (probably inspired by recent political and Supreme Court events). We in the NBCUniversal contingent therefore stepped off more than 4 hours later than originally planned, which was kind of brutal… especially considering I had an exhausting Saturday and suffered some unexpected predawn insomnia. I was so annoyed as the afternoon dragged on uselessly — but when we finally stepped onto 5th Avenue and heard the cheers and music and saw the smiles and felt the love and excitement, it lifted me up and I was very happy I persevered.
I made it through the full route to Stonewall Inn and the Stonewall Monument at Christopher Park (pics in the comments!!) , and then just bailed and limped home.
Here’s what I wrote early in the day before I got so annoyed with logistics and was still in the ready-to-go cloud:
Why Pride is so important to me: I always support self-expression and assertion of personal identity. I also believe in the importance of community, to both individuals and society overall. Pride is a simultaneous celebration of both. But that’s true of many parades. This one is important to me because it declares the value of QUEERNESS specifically. Of being untraditional, transgressive, bold, countercultural, unrepentant — yet loving!! At the same time!! It’s DEFIANT LOVE, an incredible contradiction that is easy to hold in one hand. I salute everyone making their statements today, whatever it is and wherever you fall on the sexuality, gender, political, cultural, economic, or general oddball spectrum. And on a personal note: thank you to all the magnificent weirdos who make space for my weirdness, the extremely queer folk who make space for my queerness. When the oppressors come for you, I know they are coming for me too. Therefore, I will ALWAYS fight for you, because I know we fight for US. I love you. HAPPY PRIDE, today and every day.”
Thank you NYC’s all-embracing and all-encompassing queer+allies community. Thank you for welcoming me to your celebration. I love you.❤ Happy Pride EVERYONE.
(… and now i finally allow myself to crash out, hopefully for a good long rest.)