Princeton’s Inaugural Pride Parade
was truly the historic moment we all hoped it would be~
as significant as it was fabulous!
Thousands of us marched, sashayed & rolled up the beautiful Witherspoon-Jackson neighborhood & then were all at once empowered & entertained at the wonderful after-party at the Y (Thank you to the Princeton Family YMCA for allowing the community to use your green space).
Thank you to our Town Council members Leticia Fraga, Eve Niedergang, Tim Quinn, Dwaine Williamson, & David E. Cohen, to our Mayor Liz Lempert, to Assemblyperson Andrew Zwicker, to Maplewood Councilperson Dean Dafis, to our Governor & First Lady Phil & Tammy Murphy for putting boots on the ground & sharing inspirational remarks before & after the Parade.
Further kudos to our community members who shared the stage with our elected officials~ 11 year old activist Mani Martinez, who brought us all to tears & then left us chanting her name; Frank Mahood, who dropped some important local history as he told of his personal journey & how it was helped along by the formation of Princeton’s first gay rights organization, Gay People Princeton; & Hendricks Davis, who sang us all to the stage & opened us up to the beautiful sentiments that were to follow. Our Grand Marshal Mike Hot-Pence & our Queen Lady Victoria Courtez represented perfectly & we couldn’t have asked for better syncopation for our mobilization than the delightful Philadelphia Freedom Band!
But by far the most love & respect goes out to the thousands-strong community members who came out locally, from across all corners of our great state, & indeed beyond our borders as well (Brooklyn in the house!). The love that carried this day was brought by you & we only served to amplify it.
Princeton’s first Pride Parade would not have been the truly magical day it was without the incredible foundational support of community, business, & religious leaders, our own BRCSJ volunteers (over 50 strong & worked so hard the entire day, some starting @ 7:30!), & of course, our Fire, Safety, Health, & Police Departments who went above to not only serve & protect us, but to sashay with us as well!
One last special set of shout outs to BRCSJ Intern Extraordinaire Alia Shinbrough, who came in to our house just two weeks ago & was on the phone within the hour renting porta-potties; our own Community Outreach Coordinator Carol Watchler who was in on this madness from the very start; & of course our two stalwarts on either end of the day~ March Organizer Cyndi Seda-Schreiber & Onsite Supervisor Joanne Kerollis, both of whom were true masters of their domains.
More names too numerous to mention here but expect a hug very soon
each & every one of you, & please know that you helped to create
something extraordinary that will carry on for years & years to come.