Milton and I celebrated gay pride New York City-style this weekend by watching the LGBT Pride March from the sidelines on lower Fifth Avenue near West 16th Street. As we played dueling digital cameras in the humid heat, we did not complain for it did not rain on our parade, something I feared might happen. We also kept ourselves well hydrated. I had my 20-ounce bottle of water and Milton guzzled an entire Poland Spring water truck personally before we shared a liter of refreshing mango (not served by Chris Kattan) sangria over dinner afterward.
The parade itself was an uplifting event. Marriage, family, religious acceptance and equality were key themes. We noticed many members of organized faiths marching. In the forty years that this event has been taking place, it’s very moving to see the progress that has been made. Milton and I both got lumps in our throats when we saw the contingency from the New York Police Department in their dress blues march past. Forty-one years ago when the Stonewall riots ignited in Greenwich Village, the police bashed the patrons to the point of inciting revolt. That was the pivotal event that started the pride movement that continues today, but who would have ever anticipated that a battalion of out gay and lesbian cops would march proudly in such a parade? And they were followed by the out gay and lesbian firefighters. What’s next out and proud Catholic priests and nuns? Oops, better not go there.
The person standing next to me, an individual of indeterminate gender who I thought was female, but Milton swore he saw an Adam’s apple, doubled as a human vuvuzela forever blowing a piercing whistle to entice marchers to come her way. Standing along side this exuberantly demonstrative parade-goer for three hours and forty-five minutes was a bit taxing for both of us. The limited hearing in my impaired right ear is undoubtedly further decreased, but I pointed out to Milton that “Blow Tart” (our name for this person) was not the worst person in the world. It was not like we were stuck standing next to Osama bin Laden and his dialysis machine. Afterward, I asked Milton what he thought someone like Blow Tart did for a living. He suggested in a droll tone, “Annoy people. She’s great at her job.”
Posted below are some of our photographs and because we’re devils, a little video we shot of Blow Tart that we posted on YouTube. This better illustrates why Milton’s knee-jerk response is “idiot” every time I mention this person. Overall, it was a lovely parade, and we did have a great time.
Traditional parade start with Yikes! on Bikes.
Lovely Yike on her Bike.
Bride of Pride.
Grand Marshal Judy Shepard, Matthew Shepard's mom.
Grand Marshal US Army Lieutenant Dan Choi, West Point graduate and gay rights activist trying to overturn Don't Ask Don't Tell.
Horse drawn Wells Fargo carriage.
Parade worker cleaning crap emitted from Wells Fargo carriage horse prompting Milton to say, "Don't shit on our parade!"
Marriage fairness fighters.
Delta wants LGBT dollars.
Banner says all.
Banner says all but some of us fall between these two poles.
Still on the topic of poles, don't try this at home unless your name is Madonna.
Does not look any easier from this angle, either.
The blood rushed to both our heads just watching this. The dancer is 27-year-old Marlo Fiskin. Her partner is pedaling the bike.
Our senator Chuck Schumer!
A perfect day for a parasol and fan. Why didn't we think of that?
Hebrew National Pride.
NYC Firefighter Pride.
Moms and bambinos.
Beautiful Pride Tot.
Milton's "what the hell" shot of Mr. & Mr. Smith.
If you got it, parade it.
Milton's sweaty paw holding a parade button he caught.
AOL ice cream truck giving out no ice cream.
Nice day to stroll in your underwear.
Topless girls in hard hats. Meow!
Topless boys clinching.
Mister Pansy Pride.
Buff guy that somehow caught Milton's eye.
Buff guy and buff bud endorsing TD Bank -- move over Regis Philbin.
Asian Pride boy feeling good.
Is that you, Courtney Love?
Boys from Peru flaunting it.
Boys from Peru swishing by.
Boy from Peru showing off.
In the mood to wear a top hat.
Who the fuck is this bitch with a whistle?
New York Congressman Anthony Weiner -- "Isn't it great to have a name like Weiner on gay pride day?"
They agree with Congressman Weiner!
New York Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney.
Banner says it all.
Drag queen in need of a Red Bull.
Big Apple Corps Marching Band.
Big Apple Corps Marching Band marching.
Big Apple Corps Marching Band tuba players or as Milton said, "They even have tuba players in this parade!"
Just legalize it.
Rich lash mascara!
Pump your fist for pride!
In the spirit of La Cage aux Folles ...
Working out on lower Fifth Avenue.
As long as everyone's consenting ...
We want to do LGBT banking!
The talented Mr. Whip Man.
Gay guys for shower curtains.
Go Magazine girls.
Sexy girls marching on spring shoes. Acme brand like Wile E. Coyote's?
A lone Cagelle?
Unreal literally and figuratively.
Another angle on the unreal.
Michelle Dupree, whoever that is.
Pro LGBT Episcopals.
New York Law School girls when they're not hitting the books.
The Randy Blue Boys - up and coming, pardon the pun, gay male porn film company.
Smiling Randy Blue Boy.
Marching Pride pooch taking a breather.
Green party members letting it all hang out.
Gay City News ending the march. Note doggie in driver's side window.