Q-WAVE, our lesbian counterpart, had the brilliant idea of flying two eye-catching home-made kites from extended fishing poles. The fish-shaped kites flew and dove as directed by those bendy poles. I carried one of them for a while, and felt the force of the wind against the pole.
From Fifth Avenue the march turned into 8th Street and Greenwich Village, down Christopher Street, past Stonewall Inn, before ending at Hudson Street. Our section of the march started at 12.30 and only stopped at about 3.30. Everyone was quite tired, though you cannot tell by the faces that smiled for the camera.
Yes, the march was overly commercialized, with too many corporate contingents. Yes, the march encouraged a strong exhibitionistic tendency (like mine). But when I handed a tiny umbrella to a little boy or girl, the parent smiling by the side, I knew I had given the child a good memory of gay pride. I was no longer overwhelmed and moved by the sheer number and diversity of gay people, as I had been when I watched my first march in 2004, but somewhere, in the crowd, another man was watching the parade for the first time, and, perhaps for the first time, felt it was a fine thing to be gay.