NYC Pride. We have Won, When We're One.

The 45th annual New York City Pride Parade will kickoff at noon this Sunday, June 29, with a long day of official and unofficial celebrations throughout Manhattan. 

PrideFest, the LGBT street fair now in its 21st year, will showcase vendors, entertainers, and activities in Abingdon Square from 11a.m. to 6p.m. 

Just a few summers ago, in June of 2011, I was enjoying the afternoon at the second annual Hudson, NY pride and interviewed Matthew Hamilton who was sporting a homemade t-shirt saying it all, "I might be straight but I'm not narrow." 

He shared his passionate plea to "make it happen" while describing how his mother and her partner of 21 years aren't able to marry. "Brittany Spears can be married for 36 hours, but not my mom."

Later that week, June 24, 2011, at 10:30pm, the Marriage Equality Act passed in NY Senate 33-29. This Act gave both New Yorkers and out-of-state residents the authority to marry whomever they choose, regardless of gender, in the state of New York. 

In a recent post to me Matthew wrote  "I got to walk my Mom down the aisle and give her away at her wedding last year. It was far and away one of the best days of my life."  He then added in the exchange, "My daughters were both in the wedding as well. My oldest who is seven now, was a ring bearer and my youngest, now four, was a flower girl. It was without question, one of the best days of my life, one that I must admit, I wasn't sure I'd get to see. Nobody can ever walk into a room with a clipboard now, and say to one of my kids' Grandmas, "You have to leave because you're not family. We are indeed a family, have been for many years, and our family values LOVE."

Now that's what I call inspiration at it's fullest.

The fight for equality in the LGBT community has been tumultuous both outside and inside of the movement. This year's NYC Pride Parade organizers came under intense scrutiny when the grand marshals for the 2014 parade did not include a bisexual identified person. The issue was resolved and the parade marches on in all its pride and glory this Sunday afternoon

I think the tagline for NYC Pride says it all, "We have Won, When We're One." Let's not forget, the words "heterosexual" and "homosexual" that began dividing us into categories were not even in use in the US until the early 1900's. 

We have won, When We are One!

Happy Pride! I'll be out enjoying the festivities with my Pride Poodles. I'll be sure to capture some great inspirations from the proud and the colorful! Here's a throwback inspiration from the 2011 Hudson Pride organizer Trixie Starr. 

Etta and Lily say "Happy Pride" (or more honestly "will someone please take these silly hats off our heads")