Monday, June 25, 2007

Pride--The Next Generation

My 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.

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At 5:43 PM, Blogger Donnie said...

LOL....that was a great email from your sister. Aren't kids the best? I'd love to see the world from a child's eyes again.

At 7:06 PM, Blogger Matt said...

Wonderful message from your sister. I wish all kids were raised in that kind of environment.

I love the fact that our neighbors - many of whom have kids - include us as part of their lives. Camping trips, barbecues, whatever - their kids just accept us as one of the many gay couples in our neighborhood. Hooray for your sister.

Have I told you lately how much I love your blog? :)

At 11:03 PM, Blogger Red7Eric said...

Poor Charlotte -- if she doesn't watch her step, she's going to fall in love with every boy in the Drama Club before she has any idea that they only have eyes for each other.

But that's okay -- when she grows up, she'll find a nice, pro-gay but totally straight dude to marry, and those boys from the Drama Club will be the best friends anyone could ever hope for. And her mom will be TOTALLY jealous.

At 2:06 AM, Blogger Chris said...

Great story about your niece. My four year old niece Chloe refers to my partner and I as Uncle Chris and his brother Uncle Bryan. My sister was laughing so hard when she heard Chloe say that she couldn't correct her. At least she'll grow up experiencing diversity. :)

At 7:13 AM, Blogger LSL said...

I just loved reading this - and that picture is priceless. What a great perspective . . . it gives me hope for our country!

At 12:06 PM, Blogger heathandpete said...

Michael, as usual a great post. Our 2 and 1/2 year old son, Nate, refers to Michael and Scott as Uncle Michael and Aunt Scott...LOL:)

At 6:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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At 9:14 AM, Blogger BigAssBelle said...

what a great story!! i'm with charlotte, wholly enchanted by fairy princesses and queens, whether of the drag variety or not.

i love your sister.

At 8:22 PM, Blogger Palm Springs Savant said...

how cute. You have a great sister!!


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