The iconic WorldPride2019/Stone Wall Anniversary parade may be over, but the joy it brought to millions of people everywhere, still remains and will last for many years to come.
Having gone to the already massive NYC Pride parade in the past, WorldPride 2019 amplified the experience to a level that was so phenomenal, it evoked waves of emotions among the miles and miles of spectators and participants – like me, who had the honor of actually riding and marching in the parade.
I was elated to have been invited to ride on a float, to cover the WorldPride partnership of NOTMC (New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation), for Instinct Magazine. The organization was one of the most prestigious brands to collaborate in WorldPride and joining the lively partiers on their double-decker, riverboat-designed, Mardi Gras themed float, along with my partner of 20 years, was a chance of a lifetime I will never forget.
The New Orleans signature Natchez Mardi Gras Float was decorated vibrantly in traditional pride colors, flags, and other elements representative of the city of New Orleans’ unique LGBTQ culture. Needless to say, that also meant there were lots and lots of those world famous beads. Nola was named the 2nd most welcoming city by GayCities in 2017 and 2018. Such an honor presented WorldPride as the perfect opportunity for the NOTMC to share the magic of New Orleans with an international audience.
The experience from atop the upper deck of the float was nothing short of beautiful and the cheering crowd was so welcoming. In a city like new York that can often feel isolating and gruff, this was a real day of unity and a poignant one. Yes, it was a celebration, but one of reflection on the struggles of the past for the LGBTQ community, and the acknowledgment of how the Stonewall rebellion has brought future generations through, to the proud liberation we claim today.
The NOTMC float was a bonafide party on wheels, and incidentally, it was the most massive float in the entire parade, MC’d by handsome, New Orleans Native and actor Bryan Batt, who you all know from hit films “Jeffrey”, “Kiss me, Guido” and AMC’s long-running series, “Mad Men,” where he played the closeted ad exec, Salvatore Romano.
The overwhelming pageantry of WorldPride will continue to inspire, as countless celebrations take place throughout the summer and beyond. For those of you who were unable to make it to New York City for the parade, we hope you have enjoyed seeing some of our favorite parade moments, provided by creative collaborator, Ruinsamedia.
Continued Happy Pride everyone, every day and always! Thank you NOTMC once again for the chance of a lifetime.