Joyful Revelers Flock to Christopher Street After Gay Marriage Passes

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Esther Zuckerman
As soon as gay marriage officially passed in the New York State Senate we headed to the West Village. What we found there was not the frustrating body-to-body gridlock that impromptu city celebrations sometimes tend to yield, but instead open, elated festivities. "It's like New Year's Eve," we heard a man say into his phone approaching Christopher Street.

People clamored, cameras out, to take pictures of each other in front of the Stonewall Inn, the historic site of the 1969 riots that launched the gay rights movement.

David Carter, the author of Stonewall: The Riots That Sparked the Gay Revolution approached us to explain the "beautiful connection" between this celebration and the riots: they were both spontaneous occurrences, he said.

"Can you imagine being in Stonewall already when this happened?" a man near the institution wondered aloud.

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Esther Zuckerman
Michael Calb and Andy Pernetti
When we wondered how difficult it would be to get inside the bar, another man turned to us and told us to push: "How do you think we got here today? We pushed!"

Music, everything from "Empire State of Mind" to "Y.M.C.A.," played, seeming to come from nowhere in particular. A couple of drops of rain fell. Someone yelled: "It's raining men." The crowd chanted "U.S. Gay! U.S. Gay!" People periodically burst out into cheers and took sips from their not-so-concealed bottles of champagne.

Domenic Ariaudo held a bunch of white flowers, which he explained were originally intended to be thrown into the crowd in the traditional wedding bouquet fashion. Since their stems were too long, they were appropriated for a different purpose.

"We are going to give these out to couples," he said.

Couples were not difficult to locate. Trace Wax and Robert Fodor posed for photos with their wedding bands. The pair had been married in October 2008 in California, just before Proposition 8 passed.

"Tonight was a real emotional rush," Wax said.

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3 comments
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Lizxnn Disaster
Lizxnn Disaster

As a queer who was partying in front of the Stonewall Inn on Friday night, and who was also pictured in your slide show entitled "Christopher Street's Gay Marriage Celebrations" I would like to say that I was not there to celebrate Gay Marriage. The majority of photos in this album are actually photographs of the 18th annual NYC Drag March, where we celebrate the Queens, Trannies, Bull Dykes & Gays who led the Stonewall Riots against the NYPD on June 27, 1969. The Drag March happens the Friday of Pride weekend and begins at Tompkins Square Park and heads across Manhattan, ending at the Stonewall Inn, where we proceed to get down like the fabulous gays we are, including a mobil sound system, dancers & fire spinners. After we had been there for a while & reclaimed the street for the festivities related to the Drag March, it was announced that gay marriage had passed in New York. I'm sure that the feelings about gay marriage were across the board at this event. I would like to chalk this mis-labeling of the event to just sloppy reporting instead of a complete disregard for the actual events of the evening and the history we were celebrating; the celebration that may have changed course over the evening, but whose participants were not all of the same mind-set.us 

Darlene Kaplan
Darlene Kaplan

Esther's coverage of the celebrations in the West Village last night

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