Back on June 28th (I know, I’ve been busy you fucks), Ali, Mayor, and I met up at 56th St. and 7th Ave. for the annual Gay Pride march/parade. We assumed that all attending would be marching along and weaved our way through the spectacle waiting for it to start.
When we reached 5th Ave., the march had begun and we noticed that there were barricades all along the avenue. Thinking that some people were simply watching while others marched, we hopped in the queue of the advancing crowd. We were still under the impression that the march was composed of regular folks like us, and specific groups. We happened to be with the small group known as the Gay Liberation Front. I thought this was simply a funny play on the Animal Liberation Front and it wasn’t until we had marched several blocks with them that I looked it up and found out they were one of the original gay rights groups from the late 60s, had been present for the Stonewall riots of 1969, and were celebrating their 39th anniversary. Unbeknownst to us, we had stumbled into a march made up mainly of specific groups with permission to be there, and out of all the groups we could have joined, we unknowingly picked one of the most historic ones there.
Over the course of the march, we met with many of the original members who were there for a reunion as the group is no longer active. At least two of them flat our hit on me, including Prof. Rick Landman, Esq., AICP who was 17 at the time of the original march. We also talked to Jim Fouratt, one of the “leaders” of the gay rights movement.
The march lasted over 3 hours and spanned nearly 60 blocks, going straight down 5th Ave., and cutting through downtown and Greenwich Village, passing right by Stonewall Inn. It was a highly surreal experience, meeting these historic figures and knowing we were in some way, a part of history. It was fascinating talking to them about how things were and the way things have changed. It was definitely one of the greatest experiences of my life.