Monday, June 11, 2012

Gay Pride Month 2012

Ike at Brooklyn Pride
This past Saturday, I sat at a table for the Rainbow Heights Club at the annual Brooklyn Pride street festival. on Prospect Park West. (I'm proud to be a member of the Club - see more details below)

People unfamiliar with New York City may wonder why we need a second Gay Pride celebration. (There is a parade at night, too.) At my last count, we actually have SIX - one for each of the five boroughs, and a separate one for Harlem. The media tends to give the major coverage to the "Big" parade in Manhattan", but many of us love our local fetes.

Having a fair in Brooklyn makes a lot of sense.  If the Borough of Brooklyn (also known as Kings County) had not merged with the City of New York in 1898, it would be the FOURTH largest city by population in the United States, yet Lesbians and Gays tend to be almost invisible here. It is a very culturally diverse "city", with it's own "Chinatown", "Little Odessa By The Sea", Chasidic communities that seem to forget that they've moved to America, and an Arab Quarter along Atlantic Avenue supplemented by the Pakistani/Bangladeshi "drag" along Coney Island Avenue. That's not to mention the various West Indian cultures who hold their carnival every year on Labor Day and the wide variety of Spanish speaking cultures.
All cultures that tend to ignore and suppress their LGBTQ members, so we need to stand out proud and queer once a year in OUR town, not over in "the City".
What is he wearing under the lab coat??

The strangest booth at this year's fair, which will NOT be at any of the other fairs in New York City, was an import from Canada: "The Canadian Foreskin Awareness Project" (
It was two booths over from us!
I've seen enough of them back "in the day", thank you, and it's a BIT too late for this Jewish man to switch sides, 
so I skipped the "show"...
I just HAD to share it!



By the way, Rainbow Heights Club ( is the first and only advocacy program for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender consumers requiring mental health services in the United States. We provide socialization, support, peer advocacy, and a safe place to take the next step on your road to emotional recovery and wellness. All services are free.
Located in Downtown Brooklyn, near almost all subway lines, we provide free services to all who qualify. 
We happily accept donations to continue to provide a hot meal daily to our members, and other free services. ( Your donations are what will enable us to stay open and continue to provide a safe haven to LGBT mental health consumers.
Thank you.

1 comment:

  1. Great to "see" you, Ike. I always appreciate your writing style. Thanks for this informative "tour." Minneapolis has their pride convention coming up. It's huge. You inspired me. If I'm home, I'm going to check it out.