There are many reasons not go to a Pride parade: it's hot, it's crowded, there are police everywhere, and an increasingly obnoxious and unavoidable presence of brands putting on their most queer-friendly face for one day out of the year. But no matter how cynical you may be, it's hard to deny the magic of Pride, especially in New York City where the movement kicked off nearly half a century ago.
This past Sunday, many thousands of attendees came to NYC Pride to show their love and support of gender-bending queens, free-the-nipple bare-breasted warriors, rump-shaking gogo boys, sexual health advocates and the gay elders who are still the bastion of LGBTQ civil rights. But don't get swept up in the intoxicating mix of nips, buns and bulge: these are serious times for LGBTQ equality with many existing rights under direct attack, and grave uncertainty about the future.
In 2015, the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage and now, two years later, the high court is hearing the case of a baker from Colorado who refused service to a gay couple for their wedding cake on the basis of religious freedom. It's only the tip of the iceberg for injustices that the LGBTQ community has had to endure, including denied adoption rights and use of bathrooms that matches one's gender identity. Even places once considered safe havens, like Pulse Nightclub, are vulnerable to horrific anti-LGBTQ violence.
It's clear that LGBTQ discrimination is still a thing, and it's still fucked up. Overseas, the situation is also dire. In Chechnya, gay men are thrown into concentration camps, and in Turkey police shot Pride rally attendees with rubber pellets and sprayed with tear gas. In New York, these issues were also represented at the Pride parade this year.
From midtown to the heart of Greenwich Village, the streets bled every color of the rainbow as people of all races, creeds, genders, abilities and ages marched down the streets disavowing Trump and Pence while twerking to Rihanna. Check out the images of the fiercest moments of the march below, and remember that if you care about these issues, it's up to each and every one of us to act.