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Jun 28 2017
Proud Marys: My Experience At NYC's 2017 LGBT Pride March — With 100+ Pictures! Comments (0)

IMG_7042_newMy first LGBTQ Pride March pic of 2017 was one of my favorites! (All images by Matthew Rettenmund)

My experience at the NYC LGBT Pride March this year was exhausting, but my camera was well-fed.

See the Best Message Photos of Pride — Click Here!

I was invited to march alongside the amfAR float by my generous friend John Stanton. We and all the other marchers had boss I'M EPIC (#BeEpicEndAIDS) T-shirts and Kenneth Cole sunglasses, and our float was guaranteed to grab some eyes since it featured both Kelly Osbourne and RuPaul's Drag Race Season 1 girl Ongina, who came out as HIV positive on the show.

IMG_7161_newThe EPIC T-shirt we all had

IMG_7155_new_newDJ Joe Lynskey served up some Madonna on the amfAR float. Listen to him here.



IMG_7212_newOngina poses alone and with some young fans.

IMG_7202_newamfAR's ammo



IMG_7195_newKelly for amfAR

IMG_7325_newOne of the march's cutest couples was on our team.

IMG_7410_newColor him ready to be epic, end AIDS

IMG_7435_newJohn really is epic

IMG_7447_newOur float sought a countdown to a cure for AIDS.

We also had cute dudes in lab coats and hot pants for the people not into fashion or drag.



IMG_7231_newThe doctors are out!

I loved our group, which was filled with friendly folks. Marching alongside a float gave me great access to move around within the parade, snapping away. 

IMG_7098_newKrishna, Krishna!

IMG_7106_newThe Geng show


IMG_7269_newGo, Gavin! The overnight teen trans icon rode with the ACLU (as should we all).

Before we even stepped off, I had several interesting encounters. First, I wandered past the press conference, so got to see some of the parade's grand marshals speak, including Gay Men's Health Crisis director of community relations Krishna Stone and a bit of Geng Le, a Chinese gay-rights activist. I missed Brooke Guinan, a trans FDNY worker, entirely, and the other marshal was an entity — the ACLU. But I was able to speak briefly to heroic Gavin Grimm, the trans kid whose desire to go to the bathroom at school has caused way too much consternation. He was a sweetheart and looked utterly overjoyed to be there.


IMG_7124_newEdie & Judith — I hope and believe they made it to the “church” on time that day.

Next up, as I was walking in a huge circle (they only let you cross Fifth Avenue IMG_7128_newat 34th or 42nd), I walked past Edie Windsor, whose court case led to the destruction of DOMA. She's always kind of difficult to grab, due, I'm sure, to her advanced age and how badly every LGBT person wants to share air with her, but I have to admit I was bummed by our encounter. She looked radiant in a magenta blouse over a slogan T-shirt, but when I asked if I could snap a photo (I had my pro camera), she said, “No way. Not now.” She seemed to think she was wildly late, but her wife, Judith Kasen, was gently telling her she had an hour!

I suggested I would just wait at the next corner, where she had to stop anyway, and snap a picture that way. (This is common with rushing celebs.) She deliberately rolled past me, avoiding eye contact. This was silly, honestly. She is a public figure, in public, a famous gay figure at the famous gay march! Soon enough, a lesbian photographer stopped her and they clearly knew each other. Edie relented for her, but even though she was standing still and posing for the other shooter, she steadfastly avoided giving me anything. Finally, the lesbian photographer told Edie, “I get you all the time. Why don't you give this gentleman a shot?” I was totally polite and patient — I promise I was not badgering in any way. She never did really do it, but somehow, while protesting and looking everywhere but at me, a few pictures turned out amazing! Then I left her alone. At parade's end, a friend, Mike Summers, Facebooked how lovely Edie had been when he grabbed a selfie with her! He said her people were shooing him away, but she was delightful and engaged.

Maybe she was just frantic when I caught her, but when you catch a newsmaker in the street, you don't wait until later, not ever.

IMG_7249_newMr. & Mr. Seth Fornea? Hugo, girl!

After that, I ran into Seth Fornea, the thick ginger model and dancer. I had thought he was still practically married to Jared Fortna, but he was romping around in thin sweat shorts (no underwear) with a sexy Blatino dancer named Hugo; both had worked the previous night's Adonis nude party, featuring 35 lap dancers.

Seth was feeling no pain, and Hugo was making sure I got only good shots, and making sure I photographed his sign, which announced they'd just gotten married?! (See here.) A glance at a few Instagram accounts reveals they, Jared, and another man might be in a quad relationship. Four better or four worse!

IMG_7339_new_newWhere the boys were

IMG_7404_new_newEveryone has PVH at this point ...

IMG_7330_newLife's just not JuanFer ...

I was happiest when I noticed that just a couple of floats down from ours in the holding area, a gaggle of shirtless studs milled about. When I arrived to take pictures and they removed their sunglasses, I recognized Joshua Michael Brickman, one of NYC's most beautiful creatures and nice to boot; Locky Brownlie, the insanely hot Aussie stud who stole this year's Broadway Bares and refused to return it; the dangerously sexy JuanFer De La Torre; and a bunch of other Insta-studs, each in a pair of underwear representing one stripe in the LGBTQ flag's rainbow ... and nothing else.

IMG_7366_newIt was a clothing company that brought these unclothed boys to the march.

I was embarrassed not to have recognized Joshua and Locky instantly, but their sunglasses did a number on me. Both — all — were charming, and gave me great poses.

See the Hottest Guys of Pride Photos — Click Here!

By then, I had interacted with Kelly Osbourne (we share a friend, with whom she is quite close) and I have to say that whatever you think of her various controversies, she was 100% game to be in the march, to engage with bystanders (particularly kids) and more. In fact, I asked if I could get her to pose with the Insta-studs and she said yes. I ran over and pulled the guys, convincing four to come with me before telling them what I had in mind. They were excited to meet Kelly and spontaneously hoisted her in the air. It made for a great couple of shots that were exclusive to me (“People! Us! Who will buy this?!”) ... until I later discovered her bodyguard or a friend had taken an iPhone snap and it went all over the Internet for free. Oh, well, it was fun setting up a great shot, and I was totally impressed with Ms. Osbourne's willingness.




IMG_7424_newKelly exclaimed this was so hot, and I don't think she was referring to the steamy weather.

(The day after the parade, Osbourne made headlines by scolding a Starbucks for not letting her pee, leading to her peeing her pants. The Starbucks was on 27th and we stepped off fro 38th. Given that I later filmed her dancing to Madonna's “Like a Prayer,” I couldn't and can't figure out how I missed her leaving the float in search of a public john — and am confused why she didn't use one of the Port-A-Potties en route. Still, I thought she was a great draw, definitely the parade's biggest star.)

IMG_7223_newI saw right through this float (P.S. His butt made me want to start drinking.)

More of My NYC LGBT Pride March Photos Here!

Just before we started, one young man was lying in the road, making us wonder IMG_7257_newif he would be the first of many protesters trying to block the parade. MAKE AMERICA GAY AGAIN was over his chest. He lay on the asphalt for 20 minutes or more, eventually disappearing. Most of the protest groups actually led the march (THERE ARE NO QUEER-FRIENDLY COPS was one sign that people seemed to dislike), and I didn't realize there was a brief protest that delayed things until I read about it the next day.

IMG_7058_newWould you mind showing a little pink?

IMG_7856_newThat shit wouldn't even fit in the closet!

IMG_7509_newWhere my girls at

IMG_7536_newIt was the breast of times ...

IMG_7088_newI asked if they'd mind posing and they went into formation!

IMG_7874_newNew Yorkers just know how to do it in front of a camera.

IMG_7751_newThere was no raining on their parade.

IMG_7566_newYou've heard of Baby New Year? This was Baby LGBT Pride!

IMG_7763_newOn the inside, looking out

What always strikes me about the NYC LGBT Pride March is the diversity. As a white gay guy, I know I am in a partial bubble, even if it's not a choice I consciously made, so I like seeing the array of people who show up for Pride from every borough and from many cities and countries far away. It used to be that Pride was top-heavy with shirtless musclemen, and while plenty were walking around (see pics below!), float-wise, I saw very few pieces of beef. I also felt like the drag presence was on the wane, while genderqueer and trans folks were out in force. Racially, it certainly didn't feel whitewashed. It felt like it always feels — unifying.

Sexy Shots from Iowa City Pride Here!

We marched all the way down to the Village, where I doubled back all the way to the start. There were still dozens of floats that hadn't stepped off by 3 p.m., but I was at my limit, so I took off for home ... only to decide last-minute to subway to Chelsea to mill around the booths of products that choke the streets down there each year. There were definitely some prime torsos and more-sos, but it was sad that one block had been shut down due to an apartment fire. I saw two people receiving oxygen and a shattered window still oozing smoke.

GiphyAbner! Abner! Cum quick!

A happier image on a fire escape nearby was a cluster of boys gyrating several stories above Eighth Avenue, demonstrating the solidity of the argument: Dat ass, 'do.

After all that — and 1,000 pictures later! — I headed home zonked out entirely.

Keep reading to see a bunch more of my photos, and look for more over on Facebook ...

First Up, the Famous Faces of Pride:

IMG_7828_newBianca Del Rio bares her fangs flashes her gams

IMG_7906_newAndrés Camilo, Insta-stud Max Emerson's boyfriend (who cleans up well, too)

IMG_7903_newComic Matteo Lane, dancin' in the streets

IMG_7174_newHeiress Aileen Getty, who has said having HIV actually gave her something positive to live for

IMG_7285_newNYC Council Member Corey Johnson with his mentor, former NY State Sen. Tom Duane

IMG_7289_newOut actor Johnny Sibilly (L) with hot pals

IMG_7319_newSen. Chuck Schumer (D-New York) — one of the people we need to rely on until Trump is imprisoned.

IMG_7298_newNY State Assemblyman Daniel J. O'Donnell — Rosie 's bro

IMG_7659_newAlexis Michelle & Dusty Ray Bottoms donned Ru-vealing outfits



IMG_7782_newSasha Velour, reigning Drag Superstar of America


IMG_7823_newPorn star Boomer Banks has a serious bone, but not a serious bone in his body.

And the rest ...



IMG_7048_newCheer, up.

IMG_7051_newShe got buns, hon'. (I recommend the tart.)

IMG_7053_newPay no attention to the man behind the curtain. (He was providing a last-second adustment, not a rimjob.)




IMG_7055_newAbove four images: Showing their true colors for PVH

IMG_7060_newClassic misunderstanding — I said, “Spread 'em.”


IMG_7107_newJust a few of the march's angels

IMG_7075_newFlag sale

IMG_7082_newRainbow bright

IMG_7093_newI love you in this every time you wear it, dahhhhling ...


IMG_7165_newPower bell-bottoms

IMG_7585_newAll eyes on her

IMG_7109_newNothing beats a NOH8 pair of legs!

IMG_7133_newWhy use Uber when you can use lift instead?!

IMG_7136_newMask me no questions ...

IMG_7142_newYou better pink!

IMG_7149_newHarnessing some attention

IMG_7166_newTie-dye for

IMG_7168_newRed alert

IMG_7170_newFull Transparent-cy

IMG_7206_newNo pants? No problem!

IMG_7208_newLove really is love. And sir, I love you.

IMG_7268_newPerhaps the best butt in the parade. Or anywhere. Ever. In history. Please call me.

IMG_7393_newA sobering Pulse memorial

IMG_7428_newPost-millennial Pride

IMG_7445_newLet's talk about those shorts ...

IMG_7461_newWell, heel-o, Dolly!

IMG_7464_newThe Leg Day the Earth Stood Still

IMG_7505_newStreet walker
IMG_7541_newTheir good side

IMG_7542_newThree's company

IMG_7556_newStaging a kiss-in

IMG_7559_newBluebeard, and other fairy tales

IMG_7563_newUp for a game of capture the flag?

IMG_7567_newCaught in the act of being fashionable

IMG_7586_newTwo of a kind

  IMG_7604_newRockwell wasn't paranoid after all!

IMG_7605_newWomen on top

IMG_7615_newDo they make you horny?


IMG_7668_newGlad drags

IMG_7702_newA horse of a different stripe



IMG_7715_newCop or bottom? Cop or bottom?


IMG_7736_newI actually am one of your fannnns!

IMG_7752_newProximity to CVS can be a plus at the march, depending on your activities there.

IMG_7755Rough Ameritrade

IMG_7762_newCan you believe the neighbors at the condo pool took issue with this ensemble?

IMG_7774_newThis is me when the Senate shelved the latest TrumpCare bill.

IMG_7787_newGay-sex in the city

IMG_7792_newTaking Pride

IMG_7813_newSame-sex kiss cam


IMG_7838_newIf Hilton had concierges like these, I'd stay there.

IMG_7841_newI didn't even realize Hugs went to jail!

IMG_7847_newThey're the same size, so they can even share NO clothes!


IMG_7863_newPaint misbehavin'

IMG_7885_newWell, if that ain't the pot calling.

IMG_7899_newShe doesn't have the receipts, but she does have contemporaneous news reports.

IMG_7908_newFly boys

IMG_7929_newTop? Bottom? I'm a middle.

IMG_7939_newAll adorable, but guess which one I want to take to Bermuda?

IMG_7971_newShorts stack

IMG_7988_newI caught one of them changing his pants, but I kept this pic all up-top.

IMG_7997_newOh, gosh, this makes me feel old. But in a sweet way.

IMG_8024_newNot too busy working to werk.

IMG_8040_newLesbians chic!

IMG_8094_newLow and tight across the hips ...

IMG_8090_newIn the end, isn't this what it's all about?