Pride--The Next GenerationMy sister Diane, who lives in the West Village, spent Gay Pride day with her two year-old daughter, Charlotte (above, sporting tiara) at a neighborhood park. One of the reasons Diane and her husband Neal have chosen to raise their children in the city is for the exposure to the vast range of people and culture here. After reading my last post, Diane expressed in an email to me some of her thoughts about the changing face of Gay Pride, what it has become and what it means to her family:
I took Charlotte to the park on Bleecker Street. The whole time I was sitting there, I was thinking how vastly different the crowd (and spirit of things) felt from the first Pride Parade I went to in DC with (our sister) Lisa back in 1991, an event that was predominantly white, and VERY political...Charlotte had fun playing with kids who were visiting from all over the country with their parents for Pride -- which was really nice...These people were obviously so thrilled to be in NY for pride and their kids were excited to say why they were visiting New York. But the trash cans were overflowing and getting worse, and then there were roving bands of hot revelers who would hop the fence into the children's playground to cool themselves off under the sprinklers. As I was getting annoyed that Charlotte was being frightened by these people, I thought to myself "this is the Gay Pride Parade -- an incredibly important issue for you and your family. Let it go -- or are you just racist?" And then I thought, no, I just hate parades! That said, best moment of the day was when two queens, complete in grand matching pink gowns and tiaras, wandered into the playground to sit down for a bit. Charlotte LOVED them. She asked me "who's that?" and I told her they were royalty, that's why they were wearing crowns. She had the most awe-struck look on her face.
At least there's still someone left in New York who's impressed by drag queens.