01 July 2009

An intern takes a march down 5th ave: Thoughts on the 2009 Heritage of Pride March

If there’s one thing I’ve learned to appreciate, it is the amount of pure standing that a parade marcher endures in one event. When factoring in prep time and the entire length of the route, members of the Presbyterian Welcome leg of this year’s Heritage of Pride march found themselves flat out standing from 11am to almost 6pm on Sunday June 28th 2009.

It was the first time I’ve ever marched in a parade. In fact this past week has delivered a number of firsts for me: my first internship, my first time in a work environment, my first time celebrating Heritage Pride in New York City (in three years at college in New York I’d not yet done so till Sunday).

Of course, when the NYPD (many, MANY thanks to them for helping to make this amazing event as danger-free as possible) put the brakes on the parade for the 50th time to allow traffic through, you have to make the best of the situation. Being an actor, I can never say no to extra face-time in front of an adoring audience. Although I’m sure it wasn’t (just) me they adored! It was (also) our many brilliant signs (“Fierce, Fabulous, and FAITHFUL!”. “Presby-QUEER-ian!”). It was our enormous, red banner, with golden flames and “FLAMING FOR CHRIST” emblazoned across it. It was our “Flaming for Christ” buttons, the Atomic Fireball candy we gave out. It was the choreographed flight patterns of our Doves on Sticks, swooping high above our heads in (almost) perfect synchronization.

And I think I can say safely that the crowd ate it up. I’m not sure if they all happened to be aware of what Presbyterian Welcome’s mission was or whether they simply found the principle idea of Queer Christians to be worthy of cheer. But during the final stretch, as we marched down Christopher street, where the crowds were even thicker and closer, and the cheers were louder, as I was cheering louder to match them, I found myself thankful my legs endured that entire march. By the march’s end, I had this feeling in my heart, a feeling like an entire city has just given me its love, enthusiasm, support. I hope as the weeks of my internship unfold, I can give as much love, enthusiasm, and support to those people Presbyterian Welcome serves as New York has given the LGBTQ community.

My name is Ned Raube-Wilson and I think I’m going to like interning here.

1 comment:

Magdalene6127 said...

Cannot stop smiling. Don't want to.