From Gay Day yesterday in New York, a photo from the NY Times
I got up out of my sick bed to march in the Gay Day parade here in New York. I have a very bad cold from the train trip back to New York, but that wasn't going to stop me from participating in one of my favorite days of the year.
When I was younger, Gay Day in New York was a very carnal holiday. I scanned the eye-candy, met up with friends (old and brand new) to go to the Pier Dance, and prowled the crowded waterfront into the wee hours looking for Mr. Right-Now and usually settling for a little adventure instead. Sure there was lots of politics and political statements, but those only made the whole thing even sexier. I had a great time.
Today, I still enjoy looking at the eye-candy. But I am so grateful to no longer be single anymore. I couldn't possibly compete in that market.
Now, I end my marching at St. Luke In The Fields at their annual Pride Evensong service. The last thing I wanted to do on Gay Day when I was younger was to spend that summer evening in church. These days, I look forward to it. I am encouraged by the spiritual affirmation of the service, and I enjoy the gemütlichkeit of the picnic in the church playground that follows.
This year, the new Diocesan Bishop, Andrew Griesche made a special point of attending that service. His predecessors made a special point of avoiding it for years (usually by scheduling themselves to be as far away from it upstate as possible that day).
The Episcopal contingent in the Gay Day parade this year was the largest I can remember. We stretched out along Fifth Avenue for about a block. Bishop Griesche and his wife participated riding on a diocesan float for the second year in a row. Each year, the crowds are friendlier to us; lesbians of color especially like us, though I'm not sure what the reason is. I can remember years past when it seemed that our banners outnumbered our marchers, and we never had any bishops march until Gene Robinson showed up one year. This year, a group of kids, teenagers and twenty-somethings, carried the diocesan banner the whole route, dancing with it and with assorted rainbow flags. The only drawback is that we were positioned in the parade behind a spectacular bar float with magnificent go go boys and up-to-the-second club music. It made us look so anticlimactic, a night club spectacular followed by a hymn-sing. The kids carrying the diocesan banner didn't seem to mind at all. They just danced to the music.
On the way home on the L train, a wino loudly said "Happy Gay Day all you mother-fucking faggots!"
At least the US government no longer calls me a "mother-fucking faggot" even if the Catholic and evangelical churches still do (in good company with an old rummy). The struggle continues.
I'm paying for all that fun today with a very bad chest cold. I'm seeing the doctor tomorrow. I hope I can finally recover by the end of the week so that I can get back to work in my studio.
Some pics from yesterday's parade:
Some photos by my friend Anahi Galante of the Parade: