Monday, June 29, 2009

New York City Pride Parade – To Hell and Back

OK, OK, I have to admit I am not a big fan on parades, any type of parades. My father use to drag me kicking and screaming to parades. However, I did march in last year’s Trans Pride parade and it did give me a sense of empowerment. Since this year is the 40th Anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, I felt that this was a momentous and that the trans-community should have a strong showing, I over came my reluctance and marched.

We all meet at the New Haven train station and piled on the 8:32AM train to Grand Central Station. There was three friends and myself who at the time did not realize that we were about to take a journey into the Twilight Zone (Cue in theme song).
The trip began innocently enough, we all met at the train station and we bumped into two groups of friends who were also going down to Pride. (Cue Rod Serling voice over). As we were pulling into the South Norwalk station, there was a bright flash from atop of our railroad car and sparks bouncing on the ground outside. The lights in the car went off and the car came to a stop. An announcement came over the intercom saying that there was a problem and they were “looking into the problem”… 2 ½ hours latter, we were on our way again in another train. We were schedule to arrive at 10:12, but it wasn’t until 1:00PM that we arrived at Grand Central station. The problem was with the pantograph that shorted out.

We had miss our 11:00AM muster with the group that we were going to march with, the “Sons and Daughters of Sylvia Rivera”, so we just joined up with the first group that passed by the corner (42nd St. and 5th Ave.) where we were standing, “The Gender Project.”The sun was out and it was hot, but not oppressively hot, every once in awhile there was a cooling breeze when we past a cross street. However, it was LOUD! People screaming, blowing whistles, and floats with music blaring. It was so loud that you had to talk into the ear of the person you were talking with. The sun became brutal as we marched, so I took out my umbrella to give me shade.

The parade went down 5th Ave and turned eventually on to Christopher Street (Stonewall Place) and went by the Stonewall Inn, where the LGBT movement began. Then parade ended. One moment you were in the parade and the next you weren’t.
We found a Bar and Grill and went in and had dinner. when we finished we looked for a taxi but none of them wanted to cross the parade route and take us up to Grand Center station. So we started walking back along the parade route, the parade was still going. When the end of the parade past by, it was 5:30 and they had about an hour to go before they got to the end of the parade route.

We then continued on walking back to Grand Central station, we walked about 10 ½ miles (12,900 steps) and we took the 6:34PM train back to New Haven (Cue the Twilight Zone theme song) which was scheduled to arrive at 8:18PM.
We had just left the Harlem 125th Street station when there were two loud bangs and railcar shook violently, knocking all the soot and debris from the overhead. We sat there while they “looked into the problem.” This time we only sat there for forty-five minutes. They moved us out of the last two railcars and disconnected them from the train. The cars that we moved to didn’t have air-conditioning and we sat there sweltering until we got to Stamford where they had another train waiting for us. The problem… the pantograph broke! We speculated that it was same railroad car that we were in, in the morning; did they fix it hap hazardously and put it back in-service? We arrived in New Haven at 9:00, 45 minutes late.


Staci Lana said...

I guess "no good deed goes unpunished" applies here. At least it did not rain on your parade!

Kwizgiver said...

Sounds memorable. And deafening.

Deja said...

I loooooved the Pride parade!!!
I hated the train rides!!!
You will see me in many more Pride parades to come.
But I will never get on a train again.