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Jun 28 2016
Finger On Pulse: NYC Pride March 2016 — With 100s Of Pictures! Comments (0)

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IMG_7509*All of the above! (All images in this post by Matthew Rettenmund, unless noted)

My day at the NYC Pride March was a beautiful reminder of my experience in life and of the fact that I'm always having new experiences in life ... and proof that my little body's slowing breaking down. Oh, my aching gay back!

READ: 100+ Sizzling Pics from the Adonis Lounge Go-Go Boy Float!

I was tapped to follow the stripper-drenched Adonis Lounge float, photographing the guys and the gays' reactions to them as we tooled through Manhattan, Screen Shot 2016-06-27 at 11.43.40 PMbut was told the night before—at a nude party, which are great fun when only the strippers and not the patrons provide the nudity—that I wouldn't be meeting then until 3 p.m. That blew my mind, as anyone marching in the parade usually meets up in the morning. This year, organizers seemed to get more realistic about when groups should assemble on the side streets in the 30s and 40s along Fifth Avenue to cut down on congestion and fatigue, but there was no way I wanted to miss the parade itself just because I was going to be in it, toward the end. [Pictured: Me with Angel (Image by Angel Jimez), me with Edward (Image courtesy of Edward Thomas)]

So, I woke up early, fed myself, pulled on my beloved Mildred Fierce T-shirt and hauled camera over to W. 41st St., which I picked IMG_7475*
because I read that was where a group featuring teen trans star Jazz Jennings would be meeting up and thought she'd be fun to shoot again. I never found her, but did find my pal Edward Thomas and his sister.

It was a great block on which to hang out, filled with plenty of beauties, interesting faces and spirited coppers—I was mixing it up with the Gay Officers Action League, where I met a lesbian couple in love with Varla Jean Merman (my shirt provided the conversation-starter), was handed my first NO when asking to take someone's picture (an all-but-naked man in a leather jockstrap, who apparently wasn't seeking attention) and fell in love several times.

IMG_7495*Copping out!

I don't have official press I.D., which isn't technically needed to cover a public event, but I'm always worried I'll be stopped when walking from float to float. Once our group poured onto Fifth, there was no turning back and I was able to march forward pretty far, to within a few groups of the very beginning of the parade (I had fun with the Hillary marchers, unaware that had I just stuck with them a few more blocks, I would've encountered the woman herself—oh, well, I did get Chelsea last year).

IMG_7470*The first one I fell for: The adorable Zico boy and his hairy legs.

Once I'd gotten way down from the 40s to the teens, I simply turned around and began slowly moving back against the tide in order to see as many marchers as possible.

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IMG_7555*Now cheer this!

It was a beautiful march—colorful, exuberant, and sunny—but it surprised me that it didn't feel as pregnant with purpose as I'd expected in the wake of the Orlando mass shooting. To be sure, there were countless expressions of solidarity and sorrow over the event, most prominently in the inclusion of Pulse owner Barbara Poma and the many WE ARE ORLANDO signs, but the parade didn't have a different vibe—it was just much, much longer. Maybe that was the Pulse effect, a rush to be a part of the bigger picture, even if more than a few moms back home were wishing their LGBT kids were not going to be quite so LGBT, quite so out in the open; I guess a lot more people wanted to send the message that they were deeply affected by Orlando, but wouldn't let that stop them from being themselves in public.

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IMG_7612*Many 49ers in the crowd

The other thing I noticed more so than ever, and that drives at least some people away from the otherwise energizing event, is the relentless corporatization of it. I have argued before, and it is still my belief, that big business marketing to us is not demonic, and that if we live in a capitalist society and are the target of marketers, that is a sign of respect for our importance, our power. Also, it's psychologically vastly important that everyday brands go out of their way to support the LGBT cause openly—even if I'm not sure whether Kiehl's is a top or a bottom (probably bottom), or in what stage of transitioning Facebook may be.

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IMG_7606*Case in point: Delta Airlines had human billboards ... and yet these two pics were among my favorite due to the marcher's joy.

I appreciate that the captains of industry understand that LGBT people are there customers and are not afraid to have our back on our biggest day of the year. Frankly, we'd have to buy from them anyway.

IMG_8674*The only thing they were selling was love.

That said, it's more and more of a killjoy to see so many marchers who were casted to walk attractively alongside and while wearing a logo. This fatiguing omnipresence of big business first hit me when I heard a team leader giving what sounded like shareholders speech before his company group's step-off, was compounded by running into a young friend who was being paid to participate (would he have even gone otherwise?) and was hammered home when, at the end of the draining day I was handed three rainbow bracelets—and upon closer inspection, discovered they advertised Wyndham Rewards. Womp-womp.

IMG_7436*Whether the message is from MasterCard or Harvey Milk, it's true: Acceptance does matter.

It's not moving, this businessy side of the parade, but on the other hand, I suppose it's the biggest pie in the face of every Anita Bryant ever that Walmart's with us, and that MasterCard is telling the world #AcceptanceMatters. Because it does, but who knew MasterCard would one day care?

I think what would help me get over the $$$ aspect is if the march could somehow encourage much smaller groups to have floats (at a discounted rate?) that were being judged for creativity and messaging. That way, I think people would be less inundated with pitches (including political ones) and the parade itself would only be more fun.

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IMG_7716*Their bodies are not your enemy.

In the past, I've also read a lot about people thinking the parade is too sexy, too about perfect bodies. I really don't get that at all. I hunted for those sexy IMG_7777*bodies, and while there were plenty on display, it sure didn't feel excessive. I recall other parades in decades past that felt far more decadent. (I later wound up on the dirtiest float in the entire procession, and it suck out like a sore thumb-job.) I also just unfriended a very intelligent but ridiculously politicized writer whose posts obsess over racism and sexism and homophobic in ways that are more self-parody than self-help. The straw that broke the homo's back was his declaration that he “hates” Gay Pride, partly due to a wrenching experience he had once (which I get) but mainly due to his feeling that all the lovely bodies are shaming him and telling him he isn't good enough.

I fully understand that twinge one can get when one sees a gaggle of ostentatiously sexy, mind-bogglingly muscled gay dudes in Speedos IMG_8111* acting like they were born that way, and there are definitely a lot of boys who, like too many girls have always done in order to seem less threatening to men, fake air-headedness and flash skin until it becomes who they are. But they are not the ones telling you you're not good enough by having great beauty, you're the one telling yourself that. Get over it, enjoy their beauty and—you know what?—enjoy what you've got, too. We are all born and we all die and any one of us can get shot in a club or get cancer or get gay-bashed or anything else you can imagine, so celebrating our fleeting sexiness should be an act of pleasure and defiance, not something to make us binge-eat a bag of doughnuts and declare our hatred for gay pride.

IMG_7754*Don't ever hate Pride.

All that said, I did have a blast playing photojournalist (surprising that I had about a half dozen people I asked for posed pictures decline), taking portraits, candids and landscapes of the gigantic, throbbing event from noon to 3. Ultimately, there is nothing else quite like a big-city LGBT parade, even if someone, somewhere is making a little cash off of it.

IMG_7543*See change!

By 3, I had made my way back to where the floats were waiting to make their way down Fifth, and found the Adonis Lounge's station. I spent several hours there—we didn't step off until something like 6!—and then spent another few slowly, ever so slowly, marching the entire route. But that's for another post.

IMG_7577*Looking at these women, who wouldn't wanna be a lesbian?

Enjoy some of my favorite photos, SHARE on social media and feel free to chime in if you see anyone you know ...

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Jun 27 2016
6-PACK — Hillary In NYC Pride March + Clinton/Warren Trash Trump + SCOTUS Sticks It To Pro-Lifers + Gaga Lama + Speedo Freak + Boxers, Briefs Or Me? Comments (0)

*widget boy cultureAbove: Hillary Clinton makes surprise appearance at NYC Pride March, strolls through part of the Village to cheers. James Franco did this instead.

*widget boy cultureHillary & Warren team up at feisty campaign appearance, where Warren slams Trump's greed and temperament.

*widget boy cultureSCOTUS strikes down TX abortion law, Justice Ginsburg slays in her argument.

*widget boy cultureLady Gaga sits down with the Dalai Lama.

*widget boy cultureNathan Adrian's Speedo works it, hard, for ESPN Magazine.

*widget boy cultureUnderwear Expert gets dog walkers to drop trou to prove whether it's boxers or briefs: 

Trans comic slays on America's Got Talent

 
Jun 25 2016
Conservative George Will Bolts Republican Party Over Trump: MAKE SURE HE LOSES Comments (0)

George Will is an old-school conservative, so even though it's not surprising he isn't enamored of his party's nominee, Donald Trump, it's downright shocking that he's so disaffected he's already changed his voter registration to unaffiliated.

You got that right: George FRICKIN' Will just left the Republican Party.

Pressed on what his advice is for others, Will said simply, “Make sure he loses.”

He seems totally unconcerned about Hillary Clinton choosing at minimum two SCOTUS justices, though that's partly because he doesn't seem to think that Trump would pick anyone in line with Will's beliefs anyway.

This is huge.

 
Jun 24 2016
6-PACK — STONEWALL WAS A WHITE EVENT (!) + Obama Announces Stonewall Nat'l Monument + Owner Of Pulse To Lead NYC Pride March + Biden Speaks Out On Trans Rights + Cameron Quits + Cher Backpedals + Calvin Harris's Speedo Posse! Comments (0)

Slide_354400_3870494_free(Image via Stonewall45.0rg)

*widget boy cultureRoland Emmerich official despicable: “Stonewall was a white event—let's be honest.” Huh? P.S. Your movie was embarrassing on every level.

*widget boy cultureObama announces Stonewall National Monument! But Barack Obama is white—let's be honest.

*widget boy cultureBarbara Poma, owner of Pulse, will lead the NYC Pride March on Sunday, June 26. Extra police protection is promised for the event.

*widget boy cultureVia video, Biden addresses Orlando and transgender rights at Logo Trailblazer Honors ceremony.

*widget boy cultureCameron quits. No, Brexit won't hand Trump the presidency. 1D's Niall livid over Brexit. Cher backpedals after (ignorantly?) cheering Brexit:

*widget boy cultureWhich of Calvin Harris's Speedo-wearing friends do you most want to have sex with? 

 

We said YES

A photo posted by @emilnava on

 
Will Bernie Sanders Vote For Hillary Clinton? He Says, Simply, YES Comments (0)

Screen Shot 2016-06-24 at 11.41.27 AM(Video still via MSNBC)

Bernie Sanders, speaking on MSNBC, was asked directly if he will vote for Hillary Clinton and—in spite of refusing to endorse her as recently as yesterday—this was his response:

Yes. Yeah, I think, uh, the issue right here is, uh, I'm going to do everything I can to defeat Donald Trump. Uh, I think Trump, uh, in so many ways will be a disaster for this country if he were to be elected president. We do not need, uh, a president whose cornerstone of his campaign is, is bigotry, is insulting Mexicans and Latinos and, and Muslims and, and women, who does not believe in the reality of climate change, when virtually every scientist who has studied this issue understand we have a global crisis. This is not somebody who should become, uh, president. What my job right now is, is to fight for the strongest possible platform, uh, in the Democratic convention ... and that means a platform that represents working people, that stands up to big-money interests.

He would not characterize his vote as being either for her or against Trump.

Bernie also spoke with measured regret over the surprising #BREXIT victory, but wouldn't term it a mistake.

 
6-PACK — Bill Cunningham Ailing + Teen Trans Star Jazz Jennings Speaks Out + THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA Dish + Bernie On Hillary: I DON'T KNOW HER + Shawn Mendes Comes In + BREXIT Upset Comments (0)

6a00d8341c2ca253ef0147e37f1058970bBill Cunningham at work in 2011 (Image by Matthew Rettenmund)

*widget boy cultureLegendary New York Times shooter Bill Cunningham suffers stroke!

*widget boy cultureJazz Jennings, America's favorite teen trans reality star, tells Village Voice if she hadn't had a supportive family, “I don't know if I would have had the courage to live.”

*widget boy cultureHow the most iconic scene from The Devil Wears Prada—celebrating its 10th anniversary—was created, and why it almost didn't make it into the film.

Tumblr_inline_nhcxy4VpDZ1s3l2i4(GIF via Fox 2000)

*widget boy cultureBernie Sanders suddenly cares about down-ballot candidates, but never mentions Hillary ONCE in his hour-long “what's next?” speech. Won't endorse her.

*widget boy cultureI don't know on what planet it doesn't matter whether or not Shawn Mendes is gay, but it ain't this one.

*widget boy cultureThe pound plummets as it becomes increasingly clear BREXIT is pulling off an upset in England. Guess it pays to kill your opponents.

 
Jun 23 2016
6-PACK — Music Man + Pulse Victim's Final Indignity + Trump Is Anti-LGBT — Get Over It + Hillary's Veepstakes + Miss Missouri Is An Out Lesbian + SCOTUS Effs Up Immigration! Comments (0)

57680bb32200002d00f81ecd(Image via Nick Deutsch)

*widget boy cultureHow hard can it be to love a man when he looks and sounds like Nick Deutsch?

*widget boy culturePulse victim's body went unclaimed when father refused to do it out of contempt for his son's homosexuality.

*widget boy cultureDonald Trump won't even commit to issuing an LGBT Pride Month proclamation as prez, you stupid Gays for Trump.

*widget boy cultureDon't get too excited about Veep Elizabeth Warren—Tim Kaine is coming on strong.

*widget boy cultureWith her selection as Miss Missouri, Erin O'Flaherty becomes first-ever lesbian Miss America contestant.

*widget boy cultureBAD DECISIONS: SCOTUS deadlocks on immigration, meaning no more action on the issue through rest of O presidency. Freddie Gray cop gets off.

 
6-PACK — God Is Not Dead, Just Gay + Hollywood Power-Brokers + Hastert In The Pen + Snowcroft: I'M WITH HER + Affirmative Action Lives! + Shower Power! Comments (0)

GodIsGay(Image via Pink News)

*widget boy cultureBritish Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy declares “God is gay” in powerful Pulse-themed poem.

*widget boy cultureThe Hollywood Reporter has assembled its list of the 100 most powerful people in entertainment. Out figures: Greg Berlanti, Ellen DeGeneres, Ryan Murphy, Bryan Lourd.

*widget boy cultureThe only thing former Speaker of the House/wrestler molester Dennis Hastert is entering these days is prison. First pic inside.

*widget boy cultureOld-timey Republicans, who remember what their party is about, are refusing to vote for racist/sexist/anti-LGBT Trump—Snowcroft voting Clinton.

*widget boy cultureSupreme Court affirms Affirmative Action. Suck it, Clarence Thomas.

*widget boy cultureRoberto Enríquez showers his culo in the Spanish series Vis a vis. (Work Unfriendly)

Roberto13-500x283He's a shower. (Video still via Globomedia)

 


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