Same Love

IMG_0830This past Sunday I woke up hungover.

I went to a party at a friend’s place in the Bronx and ended up being unable to make it back to my own bed in Manhattan that night. It happens. Over breakfast I discussed with a friend how I should get back to the city. My usual play would be to walk to the 4 train so I could ride the subway all the way down to Union Square, the closest station to my NYU dorms.

But again, I was hungover. And the 4 train was an extra 5 minutes of walk-of-shaming through the brutality of the Bronx sun when compared to the D train. So I took the D train down to W 4th street thinking nothing of it, excited to make it to my bed for actual sleep.

I don’t know if any of you have stumbled across a Pride Parade while trying to get home/over a hangover. Let me tell you- it is a jarring experience in all the best ways.

As it turns out, the W 4th street D train stop is right by the Stonewall Inn, an important landmark in the fight for gay rights in America. And when you come out of the W 4th street D train stop in the middle of the Pride Parade, hangovers go away rather quickly.

Pride

It was an exciting moment; I felt that God had intended me to have that extra beer the night before, sleep in a little late, and stumble across this moment in order to dive into journalism mode.

The Lord works in mysterious ways.

I bought a vanilla ice cream cone (rainbow sprinkles) from Mr. Softee and made my trek through the madness back to my dorm to charge my phone so I could take all the pictures necessary.

This was my view of everything from my room. Living in New York is wild. While I enjoyed some hair of the dog and waited for my iPhone to juice up, I began noting the distinct soundtrack of the Pride Parade, thinking it might end up as a nice accompaniment to whatever I ended up writing. It did.

Fully charged, I went downstairs and did my best to be a photojournalist. I was in unfamiliar territory, this being my first Pride Parade, but I was confident I would be welcomed with open arms. I was about to get real comfortable with the LBGTQ community. It was exciting.

So Big You Can Ride ItIt quickly becomes apparent that “Pride” is the proper term to embody what is happening on 5th avenue. The only word that might be more appropriate is “gay”:Gay DefinitionIn my life, I like to think that I have seen some things. I was at Obama’s second inauguration. I attended Live 8 in Philadelphia. I have seen Bruce Springsteen and Kanye West in concert four times and seven times respectively. I was at Game 6 of the 2012 NBA Playoffs when Andre Iguodala kept the Sixers alive and forced Game 7 at the buzzer. But I have never seen a group of people so collectively happy as those marching and attending this Parade.

There were different countries represented…

International Pride

Different religions…

Religious Pride

People with their shirts on…

Keep Calm and Get KinkyAnd people with their shirts off…

'MuricaOld Navy was there with one of the more impressive floats in terms of both idea and execution…

If you were wondering, yes, those are drag queens dressed in gowns made solely out of $1 sandals. And yes, it was that impressive.

If you were wondering, yes, those are drag queens dressed in gowns made solely out of $1 sandals. And yes, it was that impressive.

And MasterCard had what was probably my favorite campaign of the whole parade…

#AcceptanceMatters

#AcceptanceMatters

Why Acceptance MattersIn addition to these, there were many more amazing and inspiring signs…

SignsAnd this one lady smoking a really big joint…

Legalize ItBut even with all of the elaborate costumes and love going on…

Costume PrideThere were two images that I know would have been ingrained in me with or without my iPhone.

Family PrideThis was just a family. Two dads, two adorable children, no big deal. They were in between floats, so I wasn’t sure who they were marching with, but those kids never stopped smiling.

Family Pride 2Then there was this. He was marching with what I believe was a Temple to Witchcraft. She was fast asleep on his shoulders with a wizard cap.

The whole experience of the Pride Parade was fairly astounding, but this took the prize. Anyone can be a good parent, the same way anyone can be a shitty one. Regardless of race, creed, religion, or sexual preferences. Regardless of if you rock no chains, one chain, or 2 chainz.

But before I get too dramatic or preachy, I do have one bone to pick with the LBGTQ community, specifically this guy:

Cat on Hat?DUDE CATS ON HATS ARE MY THING.

Cats on Hats 4 Life.

Cats on Hats 4 Life.

No worries though dude. Same love.

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3 Responses to Same Love

  1. sageder says:

    …recondition yourself from 10 000 years of bad behaviour…
    ” It’s clearly a crisis of two things: of consciousness and conditioning.
    We have the technological power, the engineering skills to save our planet, to cure dis-ease, to feed the hungry, to end war; But we lack the intellectual vision, the ability to change our minds. We must decondition ourselves from 10 000 years of bad behavior. And, it’s not easy.”
    _ Terence McKenna.

  2. Alli says:

    well done 🙂

  3. Jamie says:

    Amazingly, encouragingly written and beautifully photographed. Thank you! Adorable kids. Love that the tone of this piece is one seeing something new through excited eyes and an open mind. Pride Parades can be a little over-the-top (from someone who has attended my fair share), but it’s excellent that you were able to identify the important reasons and aspects of such an event 🙂

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