Happy Gay Pride 2012! The last Sunday of June was a beautiful day and a wonderful experience that I will cherish forever. This year I had the pleasure of riding in the NYC Pride Parade as CharlieTheMatchmaker. While I propped myself up on the back of a shining, red Ford Mustang, my team of 30 were busy passing out 10,000 CharlieTheMatchmaker stickers.
For anyone out there that has not attended a Gay Pride Parade recently, you do not know what you are missing. The love and positive energy that flows through the island of Manhattan is overwhelming. There were several times that I got teary eyed while waving my gay flag and waving and yelling HAPPY PRIDE to the thousands lining up and down the parade route.
By the end of the day my shoulders were sore and my voice a little horse BUT that did not compare to the pride that filled my heart. Every day we in the LGBTQ community hear about naysayers that tell us that we do not count and that we do not deserve equal rights. Well, that was the furthest thing from my mind during that parade. I was surrounded by people from all walks of life both gay and straight coming together for the same reason. Expressing PRIDE for this amazing community we call LGBTQ.
My reason for writing this blog as Gay Pride Month wraps up is to say LET'S BE PROUD ALL YEAR LONG!
We don't need to stop the revelry and pride as July 1st rolls around! If you are Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender or Queer, stand up and be proud every single day! That old saying "We're here, we're queer, get used to it" still rings true to me. When each and every one of us stands tall with our heads held high and lives a life that we can be proud of we can show the world that we DO matter and we ARE worthy of their respect. Find pride in yourself EVERYDAY!
And every June, as we celebrate our Pride, let's not forget our past. June 28, 2012 marked the 43 year anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. The violence that occurred on June 28, 1969 at the Stonewall Inn located in the heart of New York's West Village was horrible. But thanks to those brave souls, we can now celebrate loud and proud!
And for all of us that take part in or attend the NYC Gay Pride Parade, give thanks to the AMAZING non-profit Heritage of Pride that works tirelessly to ensure we have a wonderful event every single year.
Go out and BE PROUD of yourself!
Your Friendly Neighborhood Matchmaker,
Follow Charlie Maffei on Twitter: www.twitter.com/CMatchmaker