On Sunday, a crowd estimated to be in its low millions enjoyed NYC’s LGBT Pride March and surrounding festivities. The mood was loud, boisterous, celebratory, and defiant. LGBTQ rights and equality are under attack, and those in attendance at NYC Pride that The Daily Beast spoke to felt both the joy of being around so many fellow LGBTQ people and allies, and also an anger or sense of watchfulness about rising homophobia here. The lack, or nonexistence, of LGBTQ rights in other countries was also a cause of concern.
I wanted to take a hopefully representative slice of that astonishing crowd to ask what had bought them there, and to ask what their LGBTQ wish would be for the coming year. Serious, funny and thoughtful responses followed.
The main thing that Sarah Rogers, The Daily Beast’s head of photography (who took the wonderful pictures that accompany this piece), and I took from being out on Sunday was that LGBTQ diversity is a both a heartening thing and—more practically—a sustaining strength of the movement. Young and old (together, joyous and out), male and female, white and black and people of color, queer using whatever form of acronym you wanted, and straight and very happy to be there supporting their LGBTQ friends, neighbors, and loved ones, from NYC and not NYC... NYC Pride was the best melting pot.
Oh, and the next time as an older person you find yourself grizzling about young people, check out the students of Princeton High School’s Gender and Sexuality Alliance.
Rest assured: the LGBTQ heroes of the future are in training.