Wednesday, June 28, 2006

West Indies at Borough Hall

This evening, commuters emerging from busses and subways near Borough Hall were greeted by the sound of beating drums, shaking maracas and resonating gourds. It was an outdoor concert organized by the West Indian American Day Carnival Association, the folks responsible for the annual Labor Day parade on Brooklyn's Eastern Parkway.

Dancer on stilts Posted by Picasa

Two dancers on stilts kicking backwards in unison Posted by Picasa

Playing the guitar Posted by Picasa

Orange and white feathers Posted by Picasa

Pink and orange feathers Posted by Picasa

Young dancer Posted by Picasa

  • West Indian American Day Carnival Association
  • Sunday, June 25, 2006

    Pride Parade 2006

    When it comes to homosexuality, most gay organizations are determined to project an image of normalcy in which all gay men are Will Truman and all lesbians Ellen DeGeneres.

    -- Riki Wilchins

    This massive last-Sunday-in-June event has always been characterized by a mixture of flamboyance and defiance. Initially known as the "Christopher Street Gay Liberation Day March," it began as a way to commemorate the first anniversary of the Stonewall Riots - the singular event that sparked the gay rights movement.

    The Stonewall Riots (also known as the Stonewall Rebellion) took place over several nights in June 1969. The riots started during what was supposed to be a routine police raid at the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar on Christopher Street. According to Martin Duberman's book, Stonewall, the rebellion was sparked when a police officer prodded drag queen and incipient transgender activist Sylvia Rivera with a nightstick and she responded by throwing a bottle at him.

    A melee ensued and the angry crowd overwhelmed the surprised officers who'd expected the crowd at the Stonewall, like all their predecessors, to quietly enter the paddy wagon and submit to arrests for "indecency." When passers-by and patrons of other bars in the neighborhood joined the fight, the NYPD brought in reinforcements and riot gear. Before it was over, a crowd of 2,000 protestors fought 400 police officers. Once unleashed, their sense of injustice and outrage quickly led to the formation of several gay rights organizations.

    Over the years, the anger and rebellion that fomented the gay rights movement have been largely replaced - at least in the mainstream media - by a more conservative message, a more inclusive, celebratory and conciliatory tone. The march turned into a parade, the words "Liberation" and "Freedom" were replaced with "Pride," the focus on transgender rights and concerns was replaced by the fight for legalized gay marriage.

    But this year, the rage and outrageousness that fueled the movement's beginnings returned to the front pages and parade-goers' conscienceness. On June 11, popular drag performer and Billboard chart-topping singer Kevin Aviance was attacked outside a gay bar in the East Village. He was robbed and savagely beaten by a group of men who yelled "Kill the faggot" and pelted him with garbage.

    Suffering from a broken jaw and requiring extensive physical therapy, it appeared that he would be unable to participate, as scheduled, in the parade's after-party.

    However, two days before the march he told the New York Post, "I am getting my mouth unwired for one day, so that I can be done up for the Gay Pride Day Parade on Sunday." And so he did. Today he made a triumphant return to the public eye, riding Hannibal-like on the back of an elephant while waving to the ecstatic, cheering, wildly proud crowd.

    Gay bashers can kiss my ass Posted by Picasa

    From the LGBT Community Center Posted by Picasa

    Baby blue accessories Posted by Picasa

    Dressed in MetroCards Posted by Picasa

    Pink hat Posted by Picasa

    The Barry Z Show: 15 years of great TV Posted by Picasa

    The colors of Brazil Posted by Picasa

    Puerto Rico Posted by Picasa

    Purple and gold Posted by Picasa

    Red and yellow Posted by Picasa

    From the Center Posted by Picasa

    Svedka Vodka float Posted by Picasa

    Lady Bunny for Svedka Vodka Posted by Picasa

    Rainbow Mohawk Posted by Picasa

    Matching bandana & motorcycle Posted by Picasa

    American by birth, biker by choice Posted by Picasa

    Evita, direct from Argentina Posted by Picasa

    Dancing men in lederhosen Posted by Picasa

    CrossDressers International Posted by Picasa

    Big water gun Posted by Picasa

    Radio station KTU 103.5 float Posted by Picasa

    Columbia float Posted by Picasa

    Another Gay Movie Posted by Picasa

    Just out of the hospital, Kevin Aviance Posted by Picasa

    Kevin Aviance Posted by Picasa

  • Heritage of Pride

  • Stonewall Veteran's Association

  • Sylvia Rivera: 1951-2002

  • Riki Wilchins: In Memory of Sylvia Rivera

  • Queenmother: Kevin Aviance

  • Drag Queen Beaten in E. Village Horror

  • Back With Pride

  • New York City Gay & Lesbian Anti-Violence Project