“The Q Guide to New York City Pride”–everything you need to know

Hinds, Patrick. “The Q Guide to New York City Pride”, Alyson, 2007.

Everything You Need to Know

Amos Lassen

You may wonder why someone who lives in Little Rock, Arkansas would be interested in New York City Pride. I asked myself the same question before I began to read Patrick Hind’s “The Q Guide to New York City Pride”. The answer is quite simple. Little Rock is in its infancy regarding gay pride and we are trying to pull off a big pride celebration this year. Anything that goes on somewhere else can give us ideas of how to make it better for us here. Additionally, New York City is one of the gayest cities in America and stands tall in the history of gay life so there is much to be learned from a book like this. And let me say further that in this small volume there is a lot of information as can seen by the book’s subtitle “Stuff You Didn’t Even Know You Wanted to Know…about the landmarks, people, and events that defined queer culture”. In 146 pages there is a great deal of our history and explanations on why we do certain things. Hinds has done his job well.

This is a fun book as we go behind the scenes and learn both facts and trivia about The Big Apple. We get to the soul of the gay movement and we feel pride to be part of the rainbow.

Hinds takes us to Greenwich Village, one of the world’s most popular gay meccas and an important part of our history. The gay liberation movement began there and the Village still thrives as the heart of American gay cultural life. Our literary tradition began in the Village as well and many came out of the closet there. We see how gays organized in the Village to make the world a better place for us to live in. We learn of the beginning of the sexual revolution and the part we, as gay people, played in it and we see our response to the AIDS epidemic. Finally we learn what gay pride is and how we should act with pride. There is a history of the bars of we York and we meet the people who were instrumental in changing the course of American gay history. The book instills pride because we learn of those who worked so hard so that we can have what we have today.

This alone is amazing. In a slim little book there is a lot of our past as well as our present and future. There is also a great deal of fun trivia and you can pick up facts that otherwise you may never have known or been aware of. New York as a “fabulously queer past” and Hinds shares it with us. It’s all here and it is all very readable. We owe it to ourselves to know what is in this book. Just today I met a 27 year old gay man who had never heard of Stonewall and had no idea of who Christine Jorgenson is (not that she is from New York). It is our duty to reclaim our past in order to have a better future. After all, isn’t that what pride is all about?

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