Brooklyn Pride Returns With a Joy-Filled “Twilight” Parade

The sun settled into its golden hour at the start of this year’s Brooklyn Pride parade on Saturday, June 8. The only twilight parade of its kind in the Northeast United States, the event gathered together queer friends and allied neighbors for an evening of playful, joyful celebration on Park Slope’s Fifth Avenue.

Leading the way were the Sirens, a female, nonbinary, and trans motorcycle club that has headed the parade since 1987, as one of its longtime members, Helene Darvick, told Hyperallergic. Community, kinship, and service are core values for the group; Darvick was especially proud to participate in “milk runs,” during which she delivers breast milk to premature babies around the city.

“Pride is a celebration, but also a fight,” said a friend of the Sirens named Anya. “Everything we have, we’ve had to fight for it.”

The energy toward the top of the parade route was family-friendly. Local primary and middle school groups marched past, cheered by their classmates on the sidelines. One mother led her children in a cheer of “Dykes on Bikes!” at the start of the parade. “These are our people. They protect us. They love us,” she told her youngest, holding the child as the bikes raced by. 

One family who lived just up the street said they had been coming to the Brooklyn Pride Parade for 22 years; when asked what has changed, one teen thought for a moment before replying: “There’s less dancing now.”

But just a few blocks further down the route, the parade itself turned into a spontaneous dance party. This portion of the crowd, mostly young locals, was more raucous than their neighbors a couple blocks up, but they still let the parade proceed, cheering it wildly and moving with the marchers as they progressed.

The bulk of the dancers gathered beneath a two-story-tall flagpole of Palestinian, trans, and Yemeni flags, held by a formidable, self-described “anonymous trans woman” who passed out hand-drawn and stamped pro-Palestine stickers to the crowd. 

The dance party was a beautiful mix of activism and play, as hits by pop girlies like Britney Spears, Robyn, and Chappell Roan alternated with chants for a free Palestine. Like the marchers in the parade wearing watermelon pins and waving Palestinian flags, these celebrants mixed their pride garb with the keffiyeh, the traditional Palestinian embroidered scarf that has become a symbol of resistance and solidarity around the world. 

Some wore the scarf draped around their shoulders, while others fashioned it into headwraps, bandannas, or even crop tops. “I’m wearing a keffiyeh to Pride because no one is free until all of us are free!” said a dancer who went by Bryana. “The keffiyeh, to me, symbolizes collective liberation.” Micah, dancing nearby, agreed: “It’s gotta be everywhere, in every conversation.”

Source link

About The Author

Scroll to Top