Happy Pride! Pride Parade has come and gone, but I can still say "Happy Pride!" It's still June, after all, it's still Pride Month.
|"Best in Show at NYC's Pride" Photo by Alina Oswald|
We've come a long way, but we have a longer way, still, to go. Over the years, the mission of the Pride has changed with time, molding the community's fight (or reason tot fight) of that particular time. I can think of a few of these moments: the early years following the Riots, the beginning of the AIDS epidemic (or the Dark Years of the AIDS epidemic), the silver lining brought by the HAART medications during the mid-nineties, etc. And then the focus has turned back to the equal rights. Maybe it has never left.
|"Rainbow, American & Equal Rights Flags at NYC's Pride" Photo by Alina Oswald|
|"Pride's Thank-You Note" by Alina Oswald|
We got it. And we respected that, as we always do. But wearing a press pass should allow one to walk in the parade and take pictures for publications, blogs, etc. Well, not this time. Not for the start of the parade anyway. We were barricaded and, when somebody had the guts to asked what was going on, we were assured that we would not pass the blockade. That kind of in-your-face attitude, that kind of answer, has always reminded me of the attitude bullies assume when getting ready to... bully their victims.
|"Walking in the Parade" Photo by Alina Oswald|
And that was just a taste of what was to come... After we were finally allowed to walk, farther down in the parade, there was another alpha-male police officer set to impress his superior standing by his side. This "dedicated" office proceeded to shoo away some photographers (who were wearing their press passes and were not in anybody's way) and to start a fiery discussion with a lady in a wheelchair for blocking the street (then he started being friendly with her). Not being a tall guy, he acted on people who were shorter than him, and female, not on the six-feet-something guy a step away from the woman photographer he was threatening to kick out of the parade. (there would be much more to say about that, but I choose to stop here).
|"Blue Against Blue" Photo by Alina Oswald|
We've come a long way. Let's not forget that. And let's not forget that we have a longer way yet to go.
Remember the Stonewall Riots. Without the heroes of June 28, 1969 we would not be where we are today, June 28, 2011.
As always, thanks for visiting,
Author of Backbone