June 24, this last Sunday was the 42nd annual gay pride parade in New York City. The event commemorates the anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall uprising in which lesbian, gay and transgender New Yorkers fought back against a police raid against the Stonewall gay bar.
It’s been a long time since what started out as a “march” was officially turned into a “parade.”
The parade is now shorter than it once was: In recent years the parade route was shortened by request of the city of New York, allegedly to save money. The good news is that the parade is still the occasion for queer New Yorkers to celebrate in the streets. Thousands of people marched, thousands more lined the route, and thousands more went down to the Village — no longer really the gayborhood it once was — to party on the streets and piers.
There were plenty of contingents and floats from the dread corporate sponsors, as well as from the usual spectrum of community and religious organizations. Plastic rainbow gewgaws bearing corporate logos piled up in the streets as the parade passed.