EVENTS | PRIDE
On June 29, 2019 Harlem Pride celebrated its 10th Anniversary. 2019 also marked the 100th Anniversary of the Harlem Renaissance and simultaneously celebrated the first US WorldPride as well as the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising.
I love Harlem Pride so much, that’s exactly where my career started just a year prior. It feels small, yet intimate. I live just several blocks away, and when I walked over with my crop top, it seemed that I was the only one going to a queer event. Faint whispers of music carried over to me by the wind were the only indication that I was heading the right way.
I’ve always found it romantic that the stage is almost hidden under the awning of a bridge, surrounded by tall trees and flowering bushes. The bridge’s underpass, located on a sloped-down street, feels almost like a portal that transports you into a tucked-away gathering of the gayborhood.
It was surprising to see Dominique Jackson from Pose on FX, hosting on the mic. At some point during the event she taught us all a very powerful lesson: one of the community members was called to the stage to celebrate their hard work on a new show about female strippers called
P Valley that is coming soon to STARZ; they were hesitant to come up, but Dominique refused to accept the hesitation and proclaimed that we should accept when we are being celebrated.
Celebrations outside of the main stage had to be quickly wrapped up due to the pouring rain. Whoever was brave enough to stay was treated to a rap performance by the legendary Precious, followed by a vogue battle and her explaining that the dip is not a shablam or a death drop. Dominique Jackson stayed under the bridge a while after the wrapup to catch up with her friends and fans.
One of the recurring themes during this Pride Month were mentions about companies and corporations appropriating LGBTQ+ culture and stealing our talents. Precious’s call to action was to steal our creativity back by being even more creative. As Aja, a Drag Race alumni, told everyone at Wynwood Pride,
“Copyright everything you do, because your shit will get stolen.”