Friday, June 29, 2012

NYC Pride Parade 2012

my trip here in the US coincided with probably one of the major events in NYC this summer.  in support of my LGBT friends and family, i stood for 4 hours, camera in hand, amidst throngs of people - gay and straight, under the scorching heat, to watch the 2012 Pride Parade, the culmination of a month long Pride celebration  in New York.

rainbow colored flags greeted me as i exited the subway to meet a dear friend from Manila. he is gay and proud and very very happy. we went to Chelsea to catch the parade and was fortunate enough to get a good spot up front. the mood was festive, everyone was smiling. people from all ages of varied cultures, religion, race and sexual orientation flooded the sidewalks.

banners with messages ranging from flamboyant ("foreskin is fabulous") to the more serious ones ("HIV is not a crime, criminalizing it is") were seen in almost all the floats expressing what the LGBT community feels. or what they have gone through in the past.


i found myself hooting and yelling "Happy Pride" with the rest of the crowd.
there was no room for hate nor insult and ridicule.  it was a happy place, a happy energetic place.

then came the men, hot naked men, in pinks and golds and silvers and camouflage. omg. i think i may have drooled at one point. just a bit!

and of course the ladies and the "ladies" in drag,  in costumes or simply au naturale

the pride parade was one heck of an experience.

i'm glad i went.
i'm happy to have worn the beads and read the flyers.
i'm honored to have been a part of their community even just for a day.

in a world where cynicism. prejudice and hate exist, it was nice to be in the presence of shiny happy people who are proud to be who and what they are, standing tall with dignity. not to mention fierce and fab outfits!

and to my dear friend, thank you for taking me. you have gone a long way from the shy kid in Manila. New York suits you. i'm so happy to know that you are happy, accepted and free. you are one good person, a gift to society and more importantly to your family. don't let anybody tell you otherwise.  looking forward to our next NYC escapade.  next round of drinks on me!
happy pride!

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