New York Paddy’s Day pics
St. Paddy’s day in New York was surprisingly calm, perhaps because I got to the parade early — and left early. The weather was gorgeous, hitting 60 degrees. At the parade, which runs along 5th Ave. between 44th and 86th Street, the most interesting people were the Irish Queers, who plan to bring a court case against the NYPD and Fire Department for discrimination. Gays can march with other groups, but are not allowed to be openly out at the parade, and activists say this is unfair because other marchers get institutional support.
It’s a way of forcing people into the closet. As Emmaia Gelman, a spokeswoman for Irish Queers, told me: “You can march as long as nobody knows your gay.”
It’s also odd because New York is so, well, gay.
The Irish Queers were friendly folk, so I hope the situation changes soon. The parade would be so much more fun if gays could march, not just protest.
Update: See my report in the Irish Times today.