Saturday, June 26, 2010

Happy Lesbian & Gay Pride Day!

Sunday June 27 is Lesbian and Gay Pride Day in New York City, what used to be called Christopher Street Liberation Day. That's me above front and center marching in a gay pride parade in the early 1980s with my revolutionary socialist friends. That banner reads "Lesbian and Gay Libeation Through Socialist Revolution." It was, of course, bright red. Those were, as they say, the days.

I actually marched in every pride parade -- heck once upon a time we called them gay pride marches -- I attended in Chicago and New York from about 1979 to the early 1990s. I've marched with leftists and other politicos, with Pagans, with bears, and just randomly with friends. These days I'm happy to grab a half-hour peek at the parade and then park myself with some friends and some cocktails at an open-air bar and watch the party go by.

The gay pride parade, of course, memorializes the 1969 Stonewall Rebellion, when the patrons of a gay bar in NYC's village refused to be subjected to yet another police raid and turned the tables on the cops. While secretive gay rights organizations had existed for decades, the days of rioting that followed are seen as the beginning of the open gay rights movement.

Here's to life! Here's to pride!

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