June is a big parade month here in New York. There are your standard parades (Thanksgiving), miserable parades (Puerto Rican) and then there is Pride. This one stands alone as the single most enjoyable, energetic and, well, colorful parade in the city. My gay friends talk in excited anticipation of this fabulous day all year and I was thrilled to finally participate and show my “straight-gay-ally” support.
My lifelong friend, Sarah, has been working at an amazing start-up T.V. network called OurScene TV, which hosts a variety of LGBT news and cultural content. As the first official media sponsors of NYC Pride this year, I helped out at their booth on Hudson St. I spent a few hours chatting up bystanders, convincing them OurScene makes the perfect gay best friend and handing out cheeky stickers (“I’m new in town. Can you give me directions to your apartment?” said one). OurScene partnered up with Trojan for sponsorship purposes, meaning the best part of this gig was hanging out with the adorable and perfectly chiseled Trojan models handing out condoms (“for our pleasure and yours!”). To check out their fantastic footage of the day’s festivities, click here!
Another thing Pride has going for it is the eye candy—scantily clad men and women flooded the streets. Though a bit stereotypical, I feel like this is something both straight and gay people can equally enjoy. And if beautiful half-naked people aren’t your thing, there are always a wide variety of fantastic outfits that probably give most Broadway costume designers pause to admire. Even Bethenny Frankel and a robotic-awkwardly-waving Kelly Bensimon from the Real Housewives of NYC made appearances in the parade! Beyond all this, however, I most enjoyed the aura of optimism and hope that filled the scene. Whereas most parade groups have already procured their civil rights legislation, these people are still fighting for theirs, and yesterday was a day for them to simply celebrate progress. This optimism was quite infectious on a variety of levels. I love a good St. Paddy’s Day parade, but no bartender has generously poured me double the amount of shots I ordered like the cute gay boy did for my friend at R.F. Lounge! Gay it forward, friends.