Twas a night at the Marquee and we did it for youth...
COME FEMME COME ALL
COME FEMME COME ALL
The streets of Prospect Park West in Park Slope were painted with all the colors of the rainbow on Saturday, June 9th, in celebration of Brooklyn Pride Week. The day belonged to the glam Kings and Queens of Pride who strutted and strolled all over the sidewalks of 5th Ave. –From 14th St. to Sterling Pl. Even the gloomy weather couldn’t resist the vibrancy of the Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community bash, and like magic the clouds saw gleams of sunlight through the cracks.
The early morning celebration kicked off at 9 a.m. with a 5K run around Prospect Park West. This year, 50 percent of the proceeds went to the LGBT Youth Programs at the Brooklyn Community Pride Center.
Around noon, the Pride Multicultural festival began to sizzle as more people arrived to the street fair sprinkled with street vendors selling rainbow flags and rainbow colored accessories. The smell of food and comfort stained the air, and walkers in passing smiled and engaged in brief dancing twirls and conversation. Information packets on the LGBT organizations and enough business cards to fill two thigh high boots circulated amongst the crowd.
“We have to struggle in the progression of where we are, and then we can move forth,” said DJ Debbie a Brooklyn DJ and promoter in the LGBT community. She took a break from celebrating to elaborate more on what pride means to her. “We want diversity, we want equality, just like everybody else,” she said.
There were very few who could resist the urge to werk, or in layman’s terms – dance and lip sync for yo’ life! Well-suited on-stage and off-stage performances occurred shortly after.
Ron B., a Tina Turner Impersonator, was dressed appropriately in a long-sleeve jean shirt and black mini-skirt. She sashayed back and forth 5th Ave. holding her mic and wearing a big smile.
This is her third year hosting the parade but she has been coming for 16 years.
“Brooklyn Pride, Will Clark, and everybody in the community are just simply the best,” said the entertainer fittingly ending the interview with a Tina Turner lyric.
At 7:30 p.m. Ron B. MC’d at the Pride Night Parade alongside her charming fellow MC Will Clark.
“I’m personally just trying to get laid tonight,” said Clark jokingly nudging the Ron. B’s elbow.
Dancing men in cowboy hats played the drums on spirited floats while others shook their maracas. Cheerleaders from Cheer New York marched and represented their respect for Pride with a float marked in bold letters, “Celebrating Diversity.”
Jessie Randolph, a 21-year-old Park Slope resident had three words about the day-long event. “I f#ck!n@ love it!”
Pride and Heritage meant many of things for the attendees that evening. Organizations like Chutney Pride used the parade as an opportunity to network and enlighten the community.
“What we have done is try to create an atmosphere that the indo-Caribbean can feel comfortable and proud of,” said Chutney Pride director Tina Arniotis. “In the Indo-Caribbean, culturally it’s a taboo, it’s not really accepted amongst the traditional folks” she said. “What we have done is created a community where you can be yourself, believe in the same religions you grew up in, enjoy the music, and the food even,” said Arniotis.
For this year’s Pride Arniotis’s organization joined forces with the Gay Men of African Descent (GMAD). “You’re going to hear the music, you’re going to meet the same people and feel comfortable to know that you’re not alone,” she said.
“We have created the culture in the community within the different islands nationwide,” said Arniotis. You’re gay, you’re bi, you’re a lesbian you can just be proud of who you are,” she said.
Parade goers highly anticipate plenty more fun, even higher numbers of attendees, and more media coverage of the parade next year.