US flag with rainbow stripes replacing the red and white stripes

Happy Pride to all my queer friends, whoever and wherever you are. As readers know, I live in New York’s West Village, home to Stonewall and a historic epicenter of political and social activism on behalf of queer communities.

The official parade is virtual this year due to COVID, but there are still many in-person events, like the Pridefest street fair, which for some reason is being held in the East Village again this year (Fourth Ave. bet. 9th & 13th Sts.). Nevertheless, by the time the sun starts to set, the West Village’s bars and restaurants will be filling to capacity with revelers from all over the city, the country and the world.

Here’s a little known fact: people who live here rarely venture out to our regular watering holes to join them. My friend S. who lives a stone’s throw from Stonewall throws a party every year, but even he isn’t leaving home. Back when the event was generally known as “Gay Pride,” ’round here it was unofficially dubbed “Gay Hide” – and it stuck. LOL. The neighborhood is not really our own today, queer as we may be. Today, it belongs to the whole (queer!) world.

If you’re interested in the history of the celebration, Time Out New York has a great collection of photos dating back to 1970, as well as an oral history by participants, activists, journalists and locals.

black & white photo of "gay liberation" revelers on Christopher Street, 1970.photo credit: The LGBT Community Center National History Archive/Leonard Fink.

If you’re out there today, please stay safe, have fun, and don’t forget to (over!)tip your bartenders and waiters – they’re friends of mine!

Love to all of you!