Pride March and Chat with Grand Marshal Constance McMillen – Sunday, June 27th, 2010
The next morning I trudged down to 35th Street, the jump off point for the shortened route of the Pride March and chatted briefly with Grand Marshal Constance McMillen, who shared Marshal duties with Lt. Dan Choi and Judy Shepard.
McMillen said she was looking forward to attending Southwest Community College in Memphis Tennessee next fall, and she emphasized that most colleges have an LGBT organization. “It’s just the high schools are the problem!” she added, laughing. When asked about the most exciting thing that she has experienced since the unfortunate prom incident, she replied, “So many great things have happened. I don’t think I can just pick one!” After being a special guest on Ellen and at The White House, I don’t think I could pick one either.
She also had some advice to other LGBT youths who have been met with prejudice and adversity. “I think that you should be proud of who you are, because I think that everybody has something special about them and something different. Diversity is a blessing to this world, so I think that you should embrace it, and stand up for yourself,” she said.
Pit Stop at Trinity Tam and Nell Stark’s House Party – An undisclosed location in Greenwich Village
L to R: Trinity Tam and Nell Stark
Every race car driver and marathon runner needs refueling from time to time, so I decided to take a detour to a house party. Remember Trinity Tam and Nell Stark? They wrote a novel about lesbian vampires, which we wrote about in December – and you should read it to cleanse yourself from that Twilight nonsense. They had an après March gathering in their Greenwich Village condo, and they let me in despite the fact that I had a massive camera on me and threatened to use it and post their picture on AfterEllen, which, as you can see, I did.
Tam bristled when I characterized the beverage offering as “punch in a mop bucket.” “It’s white wine sangria in a mop bucket, heathen!” she clarified. Trinity Tam and Nell Stark – keepin’ it classy! I opted for one of Stark’s strawberry capirinhas instead, and it was excellent. Having refueled, I headed out to the next event.
Stiletto Pride, Cirque du Stiletto @ The Maritime Hotel Cabanas – June 27, 2010
Every late June in NYC, nature likes to push Pride revelers to their physical limits. Rarely in the history of NYC Pride has the temperature fallen to a level suitable for human habitation, much less gallivanting around for hours after downing several alcoholic beverages. Yet year after year, gays and lesbians stream onto the melting streets of NYC from subway entrances, like raw bricks being led to a kiln, to celebrate Pride. This year, the heat was especially oppressive. Pressing up against you from all sides like a vise, the thick humid air squeezed out drops of sweat the size of extra plump raisins and occasionally the will to live.
And that is why this was a stroke of genius.
“It was so hot that if I could have skipped the line and got dunked over and over again I would have!” exclaimed a partygoer.
The infamous dunk tank was at Stiletto, one of promoter Maggie C.’s award winning parties for women. Stiletto is held every Sunday at the Maritime Hotel Cabanas, and it was inspired by Sunday gatherings of women at The Abbey in Los Angeles. “When I lived in L.A., a massive group of lesbians would chill outside at the Abbey Sunday afternoons, which sort of sparked the idea to have something similar in NY,” she said.
During the summer months, the venue’s roof is removed, and the party starts during late brunch hours and lasts until midnight. This year’s carnival-themed Stiletto Pride came with several fun additions, such as a vodka snow cone machine, a massive grill, and, of course, the dunk tank. The party started around the time the first set of Pride marchers reached the West Village, and a sizeable contingent of the marchers and spectators didn’t stop marching at Christopher Street. They turned around and kept marching up Hudson Street and 9th Avenue – straight to the Maritime Hotel. By early evening, the line snaked down the stairwell, around the sidewalk and halfway down 17th Street. When I arrived at 6:45pm, both lounges were already packed.
Center: Robin Gans, Right: Hana of GirlNation
I ran into Robin Gans, owner of GirlBar Los Angeles, who was chilling with Hana of GirlNation. Of course, I asked her to comment on the New York scene. “I love L.A. and I love New York, because New York is my hometown – and New York girls have always been hipper and hotter, and have great style, so I’m always so thrilled to have GirlBar bring a little of the New York Scene to L.A.,” she said.
Lest you think I am trying to start beef between the two cities, think of the relationship between New York and Los Angeles as a long distance relationship between two A-type personalities – there will always be some rivalry between the two, but then they have really hot sex together. Case in point: TruckStop NY the night before was an over-the-top bi-coastal orgy, and at Stiletto, L.A.-based DJ Brynn Taylor was yet again on the decks rocking New York with her dance beats.
DJ Brynn Taylor
Back to the dunk tank. You didn’t think I would leave without getting dunked, right? Maggie C. dared me to get in the dunk tank, although she failed to inform me that she was the pitcher of her softball team prior to this.
Maggie C., Grace Chu and a dunk tank
Maggie C.: 1
Grace Chu: 0
No, scratch that. Getting dunked in that intolerable weather was definitely a win for me. Sorry, Maggie! Grace Chu FTW!