World Pride 2019 | New York City
My last impromptu photo series was titled “Underground.” I documented a sliver of a glimpse of queer nightlife in New York.
Are we only trans - lesbian - gay - bi - queer - curious at night? No, of course not. What happens when our queerness spills out into the streets, free from the restrictions we place upon ourselves at work, on the subway, even in our own homes?
In the second episode of FX’s Pose, a cisgender white man tells a black trans woman “I’m the one playing dress-up.”
“I wear what I’m supposed to wear and work where I’m supposed to work…I don’t live, I don’t believe, I accumulate.”
Some people forget that queer freedom is also freedom for straight people; so that a straight man can kiss his buddy on the cheek without fearing retribution; or compliment another man’s looks without his girlfriend misinterpreting it, just as she compliments other women all the time. Women casually call each other “girlfriend.” Men don’t dare.
I feel giddy and rebellious when I paint my nails in private, then find myself tucking my hands in my pockets as I walk down the street.
But I’m sick and even bored of feeling resentful towards the world. That is soooooo Alex-in-2018.
Last weekend, World Pride was held in the United States for the first time, in New York City. It marked the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, when police and LGBT bar patrons violently brawled in the streets of the West Village.
I was born on the 26th anniversary of Stonewall. Marriage Equality became law in the U.S. two days before my 20th birthday. The Sunday after my 24th, I was one of about 200,000 people to march in New York. (important gay stuff happens on my birthdays, y’all)
Queer “freedom” isn’t enough. I WANT QUEER JOY. On Sunday, we got it. The sun was out. We weren’t hiding. We danced in the streets. We can dance in the streets any day we want.