NYC Day 5: or, Going Out With a Big, Gay Bang!

Our final day in NYC was amazing and will probably be one of my most cherished memories. We started with a fortifying breakfast of porridge and fruit before emerging into the bright NYC sunlight around noon:


I think I’ve rubbed off on my friends…. anyone see a common theme in this picture?

Anyway, soon we were on the subway and headed for the NYC Pride Parade! I was so excited to march in this event. I marched not only for all of my gay friends, for my beloved Uncles Bud and Gary, and for my cousin who died of HIV/AIDS, but also because we are living in times that will define us, and our society, for the following decades. I’m a huge proponent of gay marriage, for lots of different reasons. I resist the idea that marriage has to be based on the potential fecundity of a heterosexual partnership because I think this is unfair to people of whatever persuasion who cannot or choose not to have children. Just because a woman has had cancer, and lost her fertility to chemo, does not mean she should consider herself less marriageable or less of a woman. I know this is not an argument you’ll ever seen on a Prop 8 sign, but it’s at the heart of their philosophies.

To me, marriage – if one chooses to get married – should be based on mutual love, respect, and a willingness to embark upon a contract that will necessitate patience, compromise, and sometimes outright sacrifice. If I’m honest, I don’t know if I’ll ever be willing to sign such a contract. Marriage is really big and really scary to me, and I don’t really understand the idea that it could be based solely on one’s ability to procreate. I’ve met many a potentially fertile gentleman…but have managed to keep myself well away from any and all altars.

If I did get married, I’d want to get married because I met someone so amazing that all the potential compromises (maybe even sacrifices!) would be worth making because I couldn’t imagine living without that person. I think that these are the sorts of underpinnings that should anchor marriage: Mutual love, respect, understanding, and an intellectual and emotional connection that will buoy a relationship when those first, violent swells of lust have faded.

Did I just say swells? Heh.

Unlike the ability to spawn, these qualities can be shared by two people of any gender mix. They cannot, however, be shared by a man and a dog, or a woman and a horse, as some “philosophers” on the other side have argued people like me, who support gay marriage, are condoning. I believe that conceiving of marriage as something based on shared values elevates the idea of marriage, especially in this time of quickie marriages and quicker divorces, and I don’t understand how opening the definition of marriage to include such values as respect and love (rather than basing it on functioning reproductive organs) can be construed as defiling marriage’s sanctity.

In other words, if I get married, it’ll be because I love the guy. Not just ’cause he can knock me up. And I want the people I love to be able to marry the people they love, regardless of how they diddle each other.

I shall step off my soap box, now. πŸ˜‰

When we got to our particular staging platform for the group we were marching with, Empire State Pride Agenda (YAY!), we collected our t-shirts, and I got to work souping them up for us:


Yes, that is a man in a wrestling singlet behind me and no, I am not going into tailoring in my next life.  After we’d doctored up our shirts, we did a little quick change on the street (Yes, we ladies bared our bras; No, absolutely no one around us paid us a lick of attention). Here we are, sasha fierce!

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Everyone had really gotten into the spirit of things, especially this guy…


Could he be cuter? When it came to march we were in it to win it!

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We marched for 6o NYC city blocks, dancing all the way. I may have fallen in a pothole (natural grace! hello!), but we won’t talk about that. The next day my hips were wound tight as guitar strings and we all had flag burn on our knuckles, but I can’t begin to express just how amazing this experience was. We all felt a sense of euphoria when we got to the finish, as if we’d run a marathon. People’s reactions to us and our signs was incredible, and I felt both humbled and saddened by the fact that people thanked us for defending their basic human rights. Especially because I felt I should be thanking the city of NYC for letting us participate in what will be one of my all time most favoritest memories!


That’s us at the end, sweaty, exhausted, and grinning from ear to ear. A grin that only got bigger when we soothed our aching bodies (and slavering souls) with burgers and beer!! YAY!


I actually had  a grilled cheese (and a half) but the sentiment is there. YAY!!!!

We were feeling no pain when we were driven by a very tolerant cab drive to our next destination. Action shots!

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After burgers and beer we did what any sensible person would do… went and drank more beer! We went to a place that was just as heavenly as Hudson’s had been, McSorley’s Old Ale House. There’s sawdust on the floor and you have but two choices of drink: Light or Dark. I, of course, went for the dark. Mmmm. Dark.


Everything went a bit downhill from there. And by downhill, I mean SO MUCH FUN. Sam seduced the camera:

We built a tower o’ steins:
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And generally just enjoyed each other’s company. I love my friends!


We finally headed home so that we could do some packing, drink some whisky, and maybe have an impromptu dance party. There might be a video somewhere… we’ll see. πŸ˜‰

It had been a long day, and we were all pooped…


That pictures a joke! Don’t worry! I was acting…. I was a thespian in high school! In reality, we’d had an awesome day and were all very, very happy:


And that’s all she wrote for our final day in NYC. What an amazing time, and thanks to all my friends for being such wonderful, awesome people!!!!!

(And lots of thanks, too, to Patrick for helping me get this damned post up despite the machinations of my suddenly-non-uploading laptop. Thanks Patrick!)

9 thoughts on “NYC Day 5: or, Going Out With a Big, Gay Bang!”

  1. Thanks so much for sharing your NY trip, Nicole! I loved reading every word and drooling over every picture…y'know, of food. Your friends seem like a blast. You're so lucky to have people in your life who get you. Bless you for supporting a person's right to love and commit to who they want.
    I love your blog and will be back to check on what's new often!
    Paige πŸ™‚

  2. Reading this in Ran's flat in Edinburgh. It is late here. We love you and love your post. It sure was one amazing day. Cherished forever. We heart you.
    Ruth and Kristin

  3. Thank you so much, Paige! I really appreciate it! I'm all warm and fuzzy inside now!!! πŸ™‚ Hope to see you around the writer's world… are you going to RT this year?

    Star: YAY!!!!! I miss you both so much! Give my love to Ranajit. And a huge hug to Sam for graduating! Whee!!!

  4. Hi Nicole!!! My partner and I loved your post. I have been following along on your blog, and can't wait until Jane hits the book store. However, after your post, you get vaulted to super special VIP category. my honey is from NY, and loves the gay pride celebration there. We are in Indiana, so needless to say, not so much a big celebration out here. She was jealous about the parade, and the pizza. Your commentary rocked!!! I still am at a lost when people say, 'well, if you let 2 girls or 2 guys get married, then why don't we let people marry a goat.' Hmmm…how is that the next choice in logic. Thanks again for marching since we can't be there. If you ever find yourself in Indiana…drinks and food on us. πŸ™‚

  5. wanna do it again next weekend? couldn't have had a better time! makes me miss you guys so much! until the next rockin' reunion!

  6. i just stumbled upon your blog. i must say that i am thankful that i have been practicing my kegels. a girl-scout is always prepared!

    you ladies are looking lovely – miss you all and wish that i could have joined you for a beverage (or two)! Here's to you and Jane True πŸ™‚ jane.

  7. Heather: Thanks you so much! I love getting vaulted into VIP sections. πŸ˜‰ Marching was fantastic, and I would do it again in a heartbeat. Especially now that the flagburn on my knuckles has healed. Thanks for all your support, I really appreciate it!!!

    Mariah:Let's do it! I'm in like Flynn! *LOL* Here's to Road Trip Dos in August 2010!!!!!!

    Jane: YAY, JANE!!! I miss you too! Cross the border and PLAY! But definitely see you in 2010, no???

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