NYC Pride – Really happy together

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Over a month ago, trophy brides and husbands, gold diggers, friends and family celebrated marriage equality in New York state at NYC Pride. I danced and cheered down 5th Avenue for most of the parade with my friend, who worked to organize her section. I felt as proud of my friend’s rallying actions as her mom, who accompanied her at the rally this year for the first time. My friend Margo also joined to blast them beats and blow them bubbles alongside one of the tamer and possibly straightest contingents of the parade: the high-school-aged Young Democrat interns, who blushed each time someone wanted to billboard one of their campaign stickers on a round or mound of flesh.

Photo by Diana Jih

 

We took our place on 35th Street behind what looked like a group of drum corps members several months too early for Lunar New Year parade. The Gay-sian group, however, quickly distinguished themselves with sign slogans a bit too raw to repeat though completely appropriate for the day. Chutney Pride and other Asian groups looked great under streams of rice and ribbons strewn from floats and the crowd.

Photo by Diana Jih

I wondered if one sign, “Queer Asians Happy Together,” alluded to the Wong Kar-wai film, Happy Together , though I hope the sign is about a happy ending and not a reference to the acrimonious end of that film’s love-affair between two men, who more often than not were miserable together. Kar-wai’s thoughts on what it means to be “happy together” extend to a personal acceptance of one’s past and agreement to live happily with that past in order to move forward.

Photo by Diana Jih

With Kar-wai’s ideas framing my thoughts, I find that the equivocations on federal marriage equality by politicians including President Obama ring hollow for many reasons especially those surrounding a state’s right to make its own marriage laws. The history of segregation, discrimination, and many of our nation’s ugliest offenses lived under the banner or behind the “code” words “states’ rights.” Lawmakers must remember and accept the legacy they reaffirm through states’ rights rhetoric, which keeps them from moving forward on federal legislation.

Photo by Diana Jih

If you wish our nation and its body of laws to enjoy stability like an old oak tree, you must envision it to include gnarled roots and many scars. Its boughs may need paring, but it cannot stop growing and occasionally flowering. At NYC Pride, I felt lucky to share with New York citizens in their state’s most recent successful blossoming.

Happier, gayer, sweatier, hoarser together, by the time we reached 15th street, the crowd looked like an ocean on every side. To my right, a gorgeous drag queen’s golden heels wore out before her heart did. Broken heels in hand, she ran to catch up to Chutney Pride’s float, her red feathers streaming in the air behind her plume.

For more information on marriage equality laws and issues see these sites:
New York Times article on NY state law’s passage
FiveThirtyEight.com

Tags

diana jih, marriage equality, new york, nyc pride, parade

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