In 2016 this NYPD pride car was followed by an assortment of corporate floats: banks, banks, banks, big box stores, and the loudest of all, the walmart float, at which time I walked away.
I was not motivated to go back to see this parade. I did however feel that the Fiftieth Stonewall Anniversary was an important enough of an event to go back. Who knows if any of us will make it to the One-Hundredth? There was some mumuring about the commercialization of these events and I wondered how that would play out.
Reclaim Pride NYC 2019
This year I learned about Reclaim Pride Coalition just in time to walk with them. I had watched the media release video and knew these aere my people. After that I watched the full hour of video where they made their case before the Heritage of Pride committee (the organization responsible for the main parade) which denied all of their requests.
Over the weekend I would occasionally meet people and ask if they were going to the earlier march. If they did not know about it, I told them about it and sometimes they looked up the website on their phone while we talked. It was a good feeling.
Stonewall National Monument and the original intention of the NPS notwithstanding, I am Not A Fan of the National Park Service. The NPS is involved in various oppressive activities including entrapment. This SNM is an homogenized space, the greenery is fenced off, humans are allowed only on bricks. During the Stonewall 50 rally this tiny triangular park was blocked off entirely.
A flag pole mount, technically outside SNM and NPS boundary, but owned by Federal Government, was made a “gift to NYC” in 2019 so as to avoid flying the rainbow flag by the Federal Government under the Trump administration. I wonder how Peter Theil, an out gay man, feels about his 1.25 million (or was it billion?) dollar contribution to Donald Trump’s 2016 election campaign now? He probably does not care and his company, Palantir, makes tons of dough from the U.S. government (ICE, NSA, etc) and facebook. Some things simply do not matter to an individual when there is wealth enough to overcome any moral, physical, or intellectual discomfort.
Donald Trump as represented at the Stonewall 50 World Pride rally.
It had been a long week in New York City, I did not catch up on sleep the whole time. On the day of the Reclaim Pride March I missed the step off by a few minutes. I met the march between 10th and 11th streets. Someone held out their hand. I took it and somehow ended up at the frontline of the march all the way to Central Park. I had not rechecked the website before the day, so I was not aware of some of the later posted details of the march and rally. Especially the rally at Central Park - all of that was a surprise to me.
I took only a few pictures that day and there are many better photos which can be found online, but this is what I have.
Regan de Loggans spoke about America’s Native Lands upon which we were standing (or sitting) during the Rally: Central Park.
Larry Kramer spoke and the person next to me said he thought Kramer was being unfair. I explained that this is Larry Kramer (his name was not announced before he came to the microphone) and he is known for saying things like this, i.e. that we can do more, that we waste a lot of time in wasteful activities like apps and so-called social media. Then the next speaker, Jason Walker, cheered us up and motivated us with what we can do. I made the observation, and mentioned it to this same person, that Kramer knew this was coming and he was Act One and Jason Walker was Act Two. I also mentioned that Larry Kramer wrote the play The Normal Heart and recommended it. It surprised me that this person did not know of it. Larry Kramer also co-founded ACT-UP and GMHC.
Larry Kramer passed in 2020. He said during his talk that it was probably going to be his last time at an event like this.
What a nice surprise it was to see John Cameron Mitchell and Steven Trask live at the QLM Rally. Tears rolled down my cheeks as they sang and reminded me of the play and movie, Hedwig and the Angry Inch.
Kevin Aviance got the crowd excited with a Love song.
There was some serious video equipment at the Queer Liberation March Rally - maybe there will be a video available in the future. The Recalim Pride website (as of this writing) has not been updated since the march. The video was livestreamed Sunday afternoon 6.30.2019.
There was room for many more people at this rally, maybe two or three times as many. Maybe next year.
This is where I watched the second night of the first of the Democratic Debates. I was in the area looking for the new location of UCB, but I had not taken the exact location info with me, so walking around I found this poster in a window. Hell’s Kitchen Democrats at Gossip Bar - a nice place to watch the debates. It says bar, but it’s a restaurant and the food is good.
Planned Parenthood NYC location in case you need it. A representative from Planned Parenthood spoke at QLM rally. They said they will help people of all genders and sexual orientations
Queer Liberation is important because it includes every one who is not ordinary. Some are using the term "“"Intersectionality" because we are often more than one thing. As we witnessed in the Queer Liberation March on the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall riots, the liberation was for everyone: trans people, people of color, bi people, enbys (non-binary people), indigenous people, gay people, differently abled people, non-capitalist people, people from every part of the planet. Queer, once a derogatory term, is now an inclusive term. And we are not afraid of using it.
Thanks go to Reclaim Pride Coalition for getting the Queer Liberation March started in New York City. There were QLMs in other cities and countries. Are there enough of us to make a difference? Our Squad is big and growing everyday. Go forth and multiply.