The Heritage of Pride March 2011 was terribly exciting this year. We celebrated on the wake of major change in the Presbyterian Church (USA) amending 10A and the NY State Senate allowing same-gender loving couples to marry. Below we share a few reflections from friends who marched with us:
The Rev. Anna Taylor Sweringen: Can I describe the joy and the energy I experienced on Pride Sunday 2011? Yeah! Non-stop pulsating energy from the young people of Caribbean Spotlight Pride preening, provoking and parading to soul stirring West Indies rhythms. The stoic smiling dignity of Catholics marching knowing the mountains they still have to surpass. The pride that fluttered in the wings of our boa-draped doves because of our 10A victory. The genuine surprise and affirmation when the crowds along the parade route clamored for, took, read then wore our "Flaming for Christ" buttons. The chest swelling pride and awe of marching on Pride Sunday after the passage of marriage equality in New York State. I danced the entire route, heart happy, mind made up and soul on fire for the next phase of Pres Welcome's ministry toward full equality for LGBT folk in the church and society.
The Rev. Laurie McNeill: Cosmopolitan Communion: Who knew it is possible to laugh and smile and screech and howl for hours on end? God’s children, a million strong, lined Fifth Avenue in a frenzy of rational exuberance. The multitude was intoxicated by joy over Governor Andrew Cuomo’s legalization of gay marriage in the Empire State.
And from an anonymous marcher who wrote the following to his son: I was wondering if you comprehended the sense of accomplishment which motivated me to make that march. From "a sick pervert" (1940's) to a prideful celebration (2011) of 23 years of loving commitment publicly advertised? It has been a movement from shame and hiding to public and proud - not as a member of a movement, but as a very personal journey, with a lot of risk and some courage. In summary - it's been one hell of a journey. That march was, for us, a celebration of survival and accomplishment. Perhaps the best analogy is a "Victory Lap" at the end of a race you've won.