Sunday, July 5, 2009

NYC PRIDE 2009 Slideshow

Ok, here's my pics from Pride 2009. They're a little late but I've been busy looking for work and crashing 4th of july weekend rooftop parties.

The batteries in my camera died about three hours into the parade, so I didn't get any pictures of the ACT UP, Polyamorous NYC or New York Area Bisexual Network contingents. There were also some more really beautiful Caribbean costumes and floats, as well as topless dykes and leatherfags in assless chaps. Don't forget the drag kings and drag queens and all the badass trannies and genderqueers.

I intentionally did not take pictures of the endless sea of politicians, corporate floats or gay & lesbian cops. These things do not make me feel proud. They actually have the opposite effect on me. A gay cop is still a cop. You think they won't bash your head in at a demonstration just because they're gay? You think a gay cop won't abuse their power, racially profile, commit sexual assault, shoot an unarmed black man holding a wallet? Well, you're wrong.

This was the 4oth anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion. I find it offensive that the gay & lesbian police association's marching band marched in the parade directly in front of the Stonewall Veterans Association. It was a police instigated riot turned into an open rebellion that sparked the national Gay Liberation movement. Gay cops or not, the veterans of the first GLBT uprising in the U.S. should have been at the front of the parade. Period.

Also, I found out days after the parade that one of the many POC contingents, The NorthEast Two-Spirit Society and the Audrey Lorde Project's Executive Director were forcefully removed from the parade by hostile cops because of a 6 block delay between the POC contingent and the contingent in front of them. This makes me so angry on so many different levels:

1) Why didn't I hear about this at the march? I know there were hundred of thousands of spectators, but the news should have spread like wildfire.

2) It's our fucking parade. It doesn't belong to the police or the city, but to queer people. All queer people. Especially queer people of color. It was queer working class people of color who first rose up against the daily abuses of police violence and institutionalized state repression. It was queer people of color who threw the first bricks and bottles at Stonewall.

3) And last but not least, this happened on the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion!!!

It reminds me of when the Chicago queer anarchist contingent Pink and Black Bloc was attacked by the police, many of whom were known "out" cops, after we scuffled with a Fred Phelps' style "God Hates Fags" group that was allowed to march in the parade because they paid their fee. Many of us in the Pink and Black Bloc were beaten and three of our comrades were arrested. None of the violently homophobic Fag-Haters were arrested. We were screaming that we were being gaybashed at Pride and none of the onlookers did a damn thing. We even tried to stop the Lambda Legal Defence Fund's float, which was swarming with gay lawyers and they just kept dancing to bad Euro-disco. Like we were inconveniencing them.

Pride is not just a party. It started as a protest. As a queer fist in the air and a "fuck you" to hetero-normativity.

Solidarity to all those fighting the system, and long live Sylvia Rivera!

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