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A Look Back at Pride

Pride comes to an end, only as a good reason for gays to party and as a marketable event for corporations to profit from. As a sentiment, pride stands strong and fortified, transcending temporality. By definition, pride is described as “inordinate self esteem,” “a reasonable or justifiable self-respect,” “delight or elation arising from some act, possession, or relationship.” There is no month for that, nor flag, nor parade, but there is a community; one that fought for its equality decades ago and continues to do so today. Though the channels and perhaps intensity in which we resist may have changed, let us not lose sight of the reasons, and also recognize the accomplishments.

That being said, our journey to equality remains lengthy with several obstacles along the road, but we deserve an annual celebratory pit stop, and celebratory it was. This past weekend, New York City saw its 48th annual Pride celebration and I, my first. The parade floats proved grand, but the masses were grander. The Pride flags waved high, but the spirits were higher. The music played loud, but the excitement was louder.

While seemingly trivial and “just for fun,” the parties that season Pride employ a motive of protest in and of themselves by providing spaces in which our community of marginalized individuals can celebrate its togetherness. Pride marks not only a period of pure joy, but also a rare moment in which heteronormativity is not life’s default option, where a queer public can bask in its queerness without fearing shame, judgement or violence. Photographer Loli Laboureau captured on Sunday that joy, resistance and diversity override oppression through her gallery of powerful portraits above.

Images courtesy of Loli Laboureau.

Stay tuned to Milk for more on gay Pride goodness.

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