By proclamation of President Obama, June is Gay Pride Month in America. Many cities have already held their parades and other observations and festivities. The Gay Pride parade in New York City, forty years old today, concludes Gay Pride Week here and is also the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgendered) community’s tribute to a city that celebrates diversity. The theme of this year’s parade is “Liberty and Justice For All” –and the LGBT community means all of us when they say “all.” We owe them a debt for our own freedoms. Read last year's post: "Thank Your Lesbian Sisters For Your Sex Life."
The parade starts at noon at 36th and Fifth Avenue and ends at Christopher and Greenwich Streets. Nhoji, a singer from Guyana, will perform a new gay anthem, “The Gay Warrior Song” which he has already sung in places like Kansas City and Indianapolis. Go, Midwest! My straight and married niece Shawn, my Midwestern correspondent, sent text messages last week from the parade in small town Southern Illinois where her gay pals declared her “the cutest, cute as a bug in a rug.” Now there is a Heartland expression….
According to Nhoji, the gay warrior fights for “acceptance, inclusion, equality ”—and he fights for you and me too.
Constance McMillen, the Mississippi girl, who stood up and asked if she could take her girlfriend to the prom, will be one of three grand marshals. A pariah in her hometown, forced to finish her senior year at another school— she’s been to the White House, interviewed on TV and received a $30,000 college scholarship, presented by Ellen DeGeneres—and more.
Arthur Finn, co-chair of Heritage of Pride, which organizes the march and other related events. said, "She's really a courageous young woman who's been willing to stand up for herself and all of us.”
The other marshals are Lt. Dan Choi, an openly gay National Guardsman, and Judy Shepard, mother of hate crime victim Matthew Shepard.
"A lot of people sometimes think that the fight's over," he said, "It's not over, and these three exemplify it."
McMille said she is "happy to be part of such a great celebration.
"I don't care if people know who I am, as long as they know "there was this girl that did stand up.’"
If you are in the city today, stand up too. And no matter your sexual persuasion or gender, take pride and pleasure in it. Lots of specials at Babeland this weekend to help you celebrate.
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