I happened to be in New York City over the weekend—a one-night layover—and was trying to meet a friend for dinner in midtown, but all the streets were blocked off. Only then did it occur to me it was Pride. After a cop told me how many blocks I would need to walk in order to cross Fifth Avenue, I stopped and watched the parade a bit.
I saw New York's Pride parade back in 1999, when Whitney Houston was still alive (she made a surprise appearance at the Chelsea Piers) and when the US Supreme Court was still four years away from saying that gay people were allowed to have private, consensual sex. That didn't happen until 2003. How times have changed.
As I walked up the parade this year, 48 hours after the US Supreme Court made gay marriage legal in all 50 states, I thought: This is so 20th century. I wonder how long we're going to be doing this. And I also thought: What causes are people taking to the streets with signs and chants about now? Employment protections, housing protections, transgender protections? As Evan Wolfson pointed out in the New York Times this week, there is much to be done.
But I didn't see any signs like that. What I saw were signs about foreskin.
The gay-rights movement started in New York City—in Greenwich Village, in a bar called Stonewall. Edmund White, who witnessed the Stonewall uprising in 1969 and wrote about it for The Stranger, said: "I remember thinking it would be the first funny revolution."
Well, there is nothing funny about the foreskin revolution. Judging from the signs and floats I saw standing there in New York City a couple days ago, no one is saying "foreskin is sexy" or "foreskin feels better" or "foreskin FTW" or anything like that. They're saying, essentially, "MUTILATION!!!!" Even sexy guys with sexy foreskins have told me they think this humorlessness is a bit much.
The only other marchers I saw while standing there for five minutes were a bunch of BuzzFeed employees writhing around next to an arrow pointing at the sky, and a "FREE CHELSEA MANNING" contingent.