Sunday, June 30, 2013

Friday Dance Party: They Heard.

Once again, I have fallen behind on the Dance Parties, my attentions having been pulled elsewhere. 

I'll be spending the summer here.

But while I was sweating out on that slab of concrete in NYC's Riverside Park, getting my eyes (theatrically) gouged out, the week turned quite a corner for Marriage Equality and gay civil rights. 
I have issued several entries over the years to celebrate Gay Pride.  To read any or all of them, just put "Stonewall" in the search engine in the upper left corner of this page.
To add to the gaiety of the week, I'm composing this entry on Sunday, June 30, which, this year, is Gay Pride Day in New York City. 
Celebrations this week outside the Stonewall Inn.

ACTUAL Gay Pride Day is June 27, the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, which also took place in NYC and is considered the birth of the modern gay rights movement.  But unless the 27th falls on a weekend, New York and all other American cities choose a different day for their municipal celebration.  As I've mentioned before, the big cities in close proximity to each other always spread out their Gay Pride Celebrations, taking advantage of all those 'mos with expendable income who wish to attend them all.  So, you will never find Gay Pride Day in DC or NY or Philadelphia or Boston to ever land on the same day. On the west coast, Gay Prides in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego will be similarly spread out(Gay Pride in South Carolina, where I spent two years in grad school, is in the fall, for some reason.)
Today's Stonewall Inn looks like any other club or bar, but 44 years ago, it was a hole-in-the-wall dive trying to escape attention in Greenwich Village.  The clientele consisted of drag queens, hustlers, and the men who were interested in them.  When the fateful police raid occurred, the night of Judy Garland's funeral, these queens had had enough.  The resulting riot launched the Gay Rights Movement as we know it today, and is celebrated every year in June.
Anyway, it's been a very gay week, so in honor of such, our Dance Party comes from a gay men's chorus. 
This magazine cover is destined to be a classic.
Despite efforts from Sesame Street to dissuade
everyone, their favorite "roommates," Bert and
Ernie, were claimed by the Gay Movement
long ago.

There are these kinds of choruses all over the place these days, this particular group seems a bit subdued, perhaps due to the auspiciousness of the situation (I know for a fact that this group puts on a fabulous series of concerts every year).  They are stationed outside the Supreme Court Building in DC, waiting, as were hundreds of others, for this week's historic decisions by the Nine Supremes. 

Ragtime's Coalhouse Walker never admits defeat.  In the show's
11:00 number, Stokes created an anthem for all
people searching for equal treatment.
The song can be considered a civil rights song, but it was not really written as such.  It comes from Ragtime, and was introduced to the world by Brian Stokes Mitchell in the original Broadway company.  The lyrics, in that case, reflected the African-American struggle, but it has been co-opted by other groups as a plea for equality for all.  And is there anything more beautiful than a male chorus singing acapella?