On Gay Pride Sunday I didn’t have many plans. I woke up with a neckache, backache, headache, and my nerves were shot. To make a long story short, whatever could go wrong did the previous week. Because Mother Nature only recently decided it was summer and was sticking with it, I was sick as a result of her bi-polar mood. Not to mention I was finishing my book and readying for publication. Work had been rough. I had a client give me not one but three wrong phone numbers, and another recipient was just annoying. I love my boss and I love my job, but it was like the last few weeks had been great with either wonderful clients or awesome recipients.
Ryan O’Regan made me feel better by taking me for iced cream. You would be surprised how chocolate, a mystery flavor, and lemon change a person’s outlook.
Sunday my mom messaged me wanting me to change the ending on my book. My mom has been my partner in this whole publication process. She helped me edit my book and is now helping me bring it to publication. I rewrote the ending and made my way to my friend Marcus Yi’s show. I was tired, would see the show, and then was meeting another friend for coffee. While it was Pride Weekend I had no plans. My mother, still hearing I was sick, encouraged me to get some sun.
I saw Marcus’s show which was excellent. As usual, he knows how to write well, and he knows how to place his actors. I had to run out and meet my friend afterward for coffee. I decided there would be no talk of anything.
Then my friend texted me. She had to leave town for a family emergency.
Figuring Marcus and company had left the theatre I made my way up Fifth Avenue and caught some of the Pride Parade and kept an eye out for friends. I didn’t want to hang out per se, but just wanted a walk in the sun. As I walked along, I began to plan on spending all day in bed watching Discovery ID. Just as I was escaping, on 23rd street, I saw my friends Brad and Octavio with Octavio’s cousin from DR. They saw me and asked if I had any plans. I told them no. That’s when they invited me to the Pier Dance as a guest of Eddie Biaz. They told me I could get in for free but would have to be there by three thirty. I was stoked. Brad and Octavio let me know that in order to get to the desired destination I had to jump in the parade.
Suddenly, I found myself marching down 5th Avenue with the homos!
As glitter filled the air, drag queens skipped, and the divas were heard from all sides I asked Brad and Octavio if it was appropriate if I pulled out Officer E, my gay cop puppet. As we pretended to march for couples where one was a citizen and the other wasn’t, Officer E came out. Many gay couples marched with their children. They quickly pointed the puppet out to their little ones and one asked, “Are you a nice cop?”
Another asked, “You won’t arrest my dads will you?”
A third asked by prompting of her two mother’s, “You don’t stop and frisk do you?”
Marching down 5th Avenue many of the parade participants stopped to take photos with my gay cop and I. Let’s just say suddenly I was in the sunshine and I began to feel better. There was this peace and harmonic energy. Later Brad and Octavio would tell me the cops would fight over who got Pride because there was more making out than anything, and for the most part the only damage would be glitter. If there were fist fights they were the Dykes on Bikes. But they kept it in the house and it was squashed after a minute.
At that moment it hit me what Pride actually was. For the LGBTQ folk, it means pride in who they are not just for their sexual/gender identity but as people. For the straight allies like myself, it means being proud of my gay friends for having the courage to be who they are in a world that isn’t always so tolerant.
Marching down the avenue I thought of my college dance teacher Jeffrey who not only was passionate about teaching and dance, but was passionate about those he taught not being afraid to move.
I thought about Jen and Tiff, married in Central Park and how they fought like hell to exchange vows when so many just do it on a whim in Vegas.
Of course there is my kickboxing instructor Jeanene who not only loves to fight MMA, but works to teach women rape prevention and children how to protect themselves from bullies.
Lest we not forget my boys who do hair like Carlos, Denis, Joey, Egardo, Juan, Dustin, and Justin who do hair. In that mix we have Eduardo who designs wardrobe and Hassan who designs window displays, all using their talents to make this world a more beautiful place.
Then we have Ray, Jill, and Charles who’s passion for changing the world and teaching brings them to high schools to help inspire young minds.
And then there is my boss Jon at Big Apple who not only works tirelessly to make an event special with the telegrammers he has on staff, but also is dedicated to his livelihood to the point where he will take a telegram order whether he is in NYC, on South Beach, or sliding down the slopes on his snowboard.
When we speak of telegrams we cannot forget Bernard who not only is Big Apple’s Michael Jackson, but also is a hardworker who’s positive energy lights up a room.
In that mix I have Carlos who’s a talented writer and videographer.
Then I have Big John, Rei, Fabrice, Pedro, Derek, and Fernando in Astoria.
Let’s not forget Ross who’s laugh lights up a room along with my neighbor Shawn.
And then there is Michael who’s from Pittsburgh who’s hugs and laugh always make me smile.
Roger and Richard from Savannah Media with their poster girl Savannah who swoop in to remind me of my message.
Amy and Chanelle who brighten up the world with well crafted jokes.
Then there is Marcus Yi who loves to write and create music and will be the Lady Gaga of the Far East.
My friends at Manhattan Plaza health club who are dedicate to changing the lives of other’s through fitness.
My poppyseeds Boo and Colin
Of course there was Joe Cannava who got me to write again, Spenser Kimrbough who was the first person in NYC who convinced me to pursue comedy, and Roger Ferrer who told me to stop looking broke and poor, and John Lea who had the best laugh of them all….RIP Dear Hearts.
The list goes on. I probably even forgot a few
Anyway, when we got to the Pier Dance Officer E came out and we partied all night with Brad and Octavio. Officer E and I took photos for a bunch of publications we may or may not make, and took a few more photos with admiring fans. Shirts and garments came off, and the dance floor was soon packed. In our party we had two convincing looking transwomen who could pass for female and veteran ball child under the name of Xtravaganza. The three of us danced together, celebrating Pride in who we were as people.
The two transwomen got smashed, and one got into a fist fight with Officer E and then she hugged him and motorboated him on her fake ta tas. God bless Pride.
Despite the large number of people everyone was relatively well behaved. During the evening I also ran into Christopher Shea, Christopher Pagano, and of course my kickboxing instructor Jeanene. While the puppet was crazy, there were plenty of crazy costumes and glitter.
The next morning I talked to my mom before signing the contract with my publisher. She had a mini-meltdown over my life again, but then suddenly changed direction by telling me how proud she was that I was her daughter, and that she was proud I was publishing this book. I just remember as my mascara ran down my face, it hit me why the universe had placed me in that parade.
Pride isn’t just about celebrating my gay friends but all my friends and family members. It’s about my amazing life and the adventures I get to go on. In eight to twelve weeks my book will finally be available. I am proud of myself. This weekend was the anniversary of Title IX, I am proud of my mother for being one of the first women to stand up for equal athletic facilities/rights for female athletes. I am also proud of her for encouraging me to write and will allow the yearly meltdown.
The next day, when I announced to my homos, who were all tired from their big weekend, that I had inked with a publisher and that my book would soon be available they all told me how proud they were of me. They all announced plans to buy it, after all they have heard enough about it.
Essentially getting to march down 5th avenue was just icing on the cake. I am ever so blessed not just to have them but all my friends, gay and straight, in my life not just for entertainment value and support. My friends and family members are awesome.
It gives much Pride to say that.