After my second year attending the New York PRIDE March, I consider where I might have last witnessed a more open and joyful environment. Proud.
Maybe it was watching legions at the 2017 Women’s March after our so-called “President” took office, maybe it was a nerd-filled theater antsy for the newest Marvel cinematic release to begin, or it could have been at last year’s New York Comic Con. But with all honesty, in my journeyed life, such unabashed celebration and joy is hard to find—unfortunately, the world is still filled with too much hate—so, I urge you all to make these festivals of life and acceptance more abundant and more approachable.
With luck, I work for a school that sees the NY PRIDE March as a necessary community piece, in which it has participated in for almost a decade now, and more importantly, gives me the delight of being the staff photographer following the float and the people. Being a part of the event, seeing blocks and blocks of accepting smiles as we walk down New York’s 5th Avenue, and knowing that it doesn’t matter who you are, what you believe in, or how you identify yourself, because everyone is there to celebrate openness and acceptance. It is truly beautiful.
Of course, there will be those who oppose, those who want to keep America “great”—a.k.a. blind, egotistical, and outdated—but the masses (at least in New York) sang loudly the importance and the love for acceptance, out-shouting the negativity and the nay-sayers. We should keep being proud for humans who are so themselves and happily themselves, because it’s not even a question of approval anymore, it’s a need to start being empathetic, to care about your neighbors, and love life—all life.
Above are my favorite shots from NY PRIDE March 2017, and below are some extra shots of smiling faces and accepting humans.