Hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets yesterday to celebrate New York City’s Gay Pride. Homos, queers, dykes (and their bikes), trannies and allies followed Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum and founder of the Christopher Street, where it all began.
And trust we sent editor Andrew Belonsky and videographer Christian Gabriel out to capture all the ‘mo madness! (Read: Photos after the jump!)
One of the leading voices against anti-queer oppression, Kleinbaum – who runs the show over at Beth Simchat Torah – made sure to denounce those who use religion to denounce gays as sinners, “We stand for a progressive religious voice. Those who use religion to advocate an anti-gay agenda, I believe, are blaspheming God’s name.” Kleinbaum and Perry’s presence definitely set the tone for the parade, which included dozens of religious organizations. Harlem’s Rehoboth Temple’s gospel choir, meanwhile, performed quite the number, insisiting, “God made us queer!”
Mayor Mike Bloomberg and lesbian council speaker Christine Quinn also made an appearance, flanked by secret service. While most people went nuts for Quinn, there were also calls for her head. The Radical Queers, we’re sure, would have loved to have a second with her. Unfortunately, they say Heritage of Pride – the corporate-happy organizers – denied their permit. Thus, the lefties were forced to cut into the parade, planting themselves directly in front of Empire State Pride Agenda, an organization that pushes for gay “mainstream” rights.
Bloomberg also got a bit of criticism after he jumped into the parade two blocks after St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Kleinbaum and Perry weren’t so pleased. NY Sun explains:
[Kleinbaum and Perry], the parade’s two grand marshals, criticized Mr. Bloomberg for not walking past the cathedral, which has during past parades been the site of protests of the Catholic church’s position on homosexuality and of counterprotests directed at the parade.
“Shame on you, Mr. Bloomberg,” Ms. Kleinbaum said at a news conference when asked about the mayor’s decision to start the march below the church. “We expect you to be at the head of this march.”
Rev. Perry said: “I think the mayor’s making a mistake if he’s going to run for president.”
That’s a presidential diss, for reals.
One of the most uplifting things about the parade, we thought, were all the children we saw. Perhaps we had never noticed before, but it seemed as if there were more children than ever before. And, of course, we saw every color, texture and shape of person imaginable. Asian, African, South American – you name it, they were there: an inspiring sight, to say the least. We may write on gays everyday, but it’s beyond refreshing to see our awesome power. Seriously, if given the chance, gays could lead the world into new territory. We cut across every social group – every race, class, religion, geographic region, nationality. Incredible.
Below you see a gallery of some images from New York City’s gay pride, some of which a reader named David Sigal sent over. Thanks a bunch, David. You’re a mensch.