A Place Under the Sun for Everyone

Would it not be utopia realised if we accepted each other just a little more? For the most part, scouring the newspapers every day has become an act of trampling through a swamp of wretchedness. But yesterday, June 24, there was hope on the roads of NYC.

At some point in the afternoon, which was slowly turning oppressive with the forecast of a thunderstorm later on, we found ourselves in the middle of the LGBT parade in the city. We had stepped out for a bite at Wagamama.

There were cops everywhere. Barricades transformed the avenues. People pranced down them, instead of cars. The mood was carnivalesque, an explosion of colour everywhere we looked. People milled all around us in tees, dresses and flags in rainbow hues. Bare torsos. Toned abs. Impressive pecs. Nipples pierced. Nipples covered with star laces. Leotards. Head cages. Headgears of neon feathers fanning out over heads. It was a riot of street fashion and personalities. It was difficult not to whip around every second and click. Click. Click. Click. It was one of those days when you wanted to be everywhere at once.

Floats followed each other in quick succession as spectators cheered on, and well it was most uplifting, especially, the sight of the NYPD cops marching shoulder to shoulder with the LGBT community. The message largely was of inclusion. And you know what added a dash of goodness to the day? The fact that it was bloody well-organised. I was constantly comparing it in my mind to the Notting Hill Parade when the streets of London heave with people, when restaurants and eateries in the city ban revellers from using the loos, when the lack of transportation is pitiful. Even the tube runs so full that you are forced to miss train after train, in the effort of not returning home a squashed pea. Of course when you reach home late into the night, you vow never to get caught in the parade again.

Below are a handful of scenes from the Pride Parade 2018 where the emphasis was on being Defiantly Different. This in a city where no two days are the same. And so I leave you to indulge the senses in a whirligig of colours, while I go and catch the World Cup.




























Published by

Arundhati Basu

The great affair in my life is to travel. I count myself immensely fortunate that my partner shares this passion. We are a team that likes to spend time planning and plotting out places to go. Destination check, flights check, accommodation check, cheesy grins check. Off we go.

52 thoughts on “A Place Under the Sun for Everyone

    1. Thank you sweetheart! I did my best not to shove myself in people’s faces. Some were lovely to pose at the drop of a hat. It was difficult not to be swept away by the bonhomie around us and I really cannot applaud the NYPD enough for how smoothly the day was conducted. xx


  1. I have a friend who was once firehosed in NYC for protesting with other gay men in the 1970’s. It sounded horrible and I can never forget his face recounting what horrors had happened that day. It’s good to see and read your blogpost. Times have changed and hopefully won’t go back to when things were not as open minded or inclusive. Hope you enjoyed Wagamama! Never been there but have heard it’s quite good. – Neek


    1. Going by pieces in the newspapers, things seem still tough for the LGBT community around the world. It is a shame that they have to fight for a life in the open. But from what you describe, the city seems to have come a long way — though I did read about the ’69 police raid that led to the entire movement.
      We are Wagamama freaks. Once in the UK, we went back to the same Wagamama restaurant twice in a day. The look on the guy’s face, who served us both times, was precious 😀 I have a feeling you would love it! xx


  2. Fantastic photos, you can really feel the carnival atmosphere. If only everywhere was as accepting of everyone as NYC.


  3. Great photos! We didn’t even realize it was happening until it was too late – we were traveling all around the city but somehow missed it.

    We definitely have a long way to go as a culture but seeing this and our own Pride march back in Toronto it is a good reminder that things can and do change for the better quite often. Such a huge change just in my own lifetime. It gives me hope in a time in history in which I often really need it.


    1. Thank you Todd. It is some change, is it not? We tumbled into the thick of it because of our random plans of rambling around the city. It was touching to see the NYPD put so much effort to ensure a smooth day for everyone, and boy, was it a wonderful day for all of us, most importantly for the LGBT community, which must still be struggling in ways I have no idea of.


  4. I agree with you totally about the wretchedness of the news of late. I’m glad that your spirits were uplifted at this wonderful event. Perhaps there is hope yet. Marvellous scenes you captured!


  5. Nice post! I like the photo of the grandma with the rainbow flag 🙂 We often believe that the older generations are much more intolerant toward LGBT, but this photo tells another story.


    1. Thank you Angela 🙂 That really touched me, the fact that they stood with the community in solidarity, for not long ago they were raiding places and hounding them. xx


    1. Thank you Lorelle 🙂 People celebrating love. Who knows about the stories that each of them have to tell. This world must not have made it easy for them. xx


  6. We have to look back to understand how far we have come and it is communities like NYC and Boston (we travelled into town for Pride two weeks ago and it was fanbluddytastic) that lead. And London. And Liverpool where my daughter lives and where tolerance isn’t even a thing – there’s no need for tolerance when you don’t even notice the differences but just blend. And that is where we need to be. Blended. Properly. All of us. No stigmas no attachment to bizarre religious texts that were written thousands of years ago in the spirit of keeping control over a population and scaring it into procreating appropriately (though the Ancient Greeks before had believed that men should lie with men in order to reach peak strength and performance). Your pictures speak of joy and hope and delight and that is what we must all continue to strive for and in the corners where LGBT means skulking in the corner, we need to reach out and send our warmth and our strength and our absolutely resolute belief that one day soon there will be no need. 🌈 xx


    1. You have a way with words which reach out to the reader, Osyth. It is a gift. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I kept thinking about the battles each of the LGBT community had to face to live and love in the open. And so I found myself overwhelmed with the display of support I saw, from the public and the police. It was such a thing of beauty, that emotion, intangible but strong. xx


      1. That’s just it. Until there are no battles to be who you are then we need posts like this, so alive with love to remind that this is how it should be. Love should be celebrated whatever form that love takes. If we just embrace that notion then surely we are some way to solving the issues that grow like thorns on the branches and stems of the world. Xx


  7. Thank you for sharing this with us! As I live across the ocean, I couldn’t be there but I love reading about other people’s experiences and thoughts! Your photos are amazing, so many colours! We had a rainbow parade in Vienna a few weeks ago and one of the things that stood out was the fact that the police made an effort to show their support for the whole community – it was such a moving thing to say. Those are the moments when I feel like our generation is not completely lost because everyone comes together at events like these. It really feels like a communal effort. Such a lovely post! x


    1. And thank you for sharing your thoughts, and an insight into the Viennese way of embracing love. It is really a most beautiful thing to witness because it says louder than words that at the end of the day we are all humans with the simple desire to live and love. Xx


  8. Hi Arundhati!
    How are you? I’ve been so busy I’ve not been reading many blogs. So sorry!
    This post…fab! My friend came over for this actually; she and I planned her outfit! It was hysterical! She had a blast and kissed quite a few girls! Haha. She said the atmosphere was wonderfully inclusive and friendly. I love your photos. I once found myself in Sydney amongst the Gay Pride parade and I loved it! Hope you are doing ok….World Cup?? What’s that?? 🤔


    1. Hey Sophie, no worries at all. You know that. I have hardly been too active. I post randomly nowadays which is not great for increasing traffic to the blog but who cares? It’s okay to let life take over.
      By World Cup, I mean the FIFA 🙂 England is doing rather well, so far. I have my other favourites too. 😉 Are you watching it?
      I think planning an outfit for the pride would be so much fun and it sounds like you did. The pride is like a massive party, ain’t it? Thank you for the lovely comment. I did enjoy it so much as a spectator and I can imagine how big and colourful it must have been in Sydney.
      That apart, I am busy getting myself scanned (seems I have found me an ovary cyst) and planning Adi’s birthday, along with the usual routine of writing. But all along loving the green of summer. You? xx


      1. Oh poor you about the cyst….:( We are all fine here. Children just doing exams etc. Im blogging less too so have a much better life/work/family/blog balance! The weather here is HOT (like 30 degrees) and Im wilting slightly BUT the build to the Old House started finally so that’s exciting! Take care lovely. xxx


      2. That is exciting 🙂 Time for iced teas and cooling salads to take the sting out of summer. It is hot here too but there are days of sudden cool, like today it is 23C, and it feels heavenly. Soon the awful humidity shall set in and I am not looking forward to that! You have a good rest of the week. xx


  9. Wonderful. Gay Pride marches bring out the best in all of us. There is hope, as long as there are Gay Pride marches.


    1. Hey Sheree, good thanks. Feeling sad about Germany’s exit from the FIFA WC, and what’s more in the group stages!
      Why I do not mind at all at being remembered 🙂 Thank you, I shall head over to yours. xx


  10. Love this. Your first line says it all…love and compassion, acceptance and inclusion. I grew up in the 80s when it was such a taboo…we’ve come a long way since then and it’s about time!


    1. Oops comment got published before I could complete it! Thank you Annika. I am a child of the 80s so I know what you mean. The world has changed for the better in so many ways, more than we give it credit for. We are evolving. Xx


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