The S.V.A. leads the 2001 NYC Gay Pride Parade and views the W.T.C. Twin
[Photo by Willson L. Henderson]
Rebellion Veterans Association ("S.V.A.") with the big blue 1969 convertible also known as the "Stonewall Car" leading
"32nd Annual New York City Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Pride
Parade" shown in the historic photograph above by the SVA's founder and current elected president Willson Henderson. The location is on lower Fifth Avenue
in Manhattan, NY just South of West 8th Street -- in front of former N.Y.C. Mayor Ed Koch's
building -- and nearly at
Waverly Place, where the exciting parade gay-ly turns right to "Go West".
That title "Go West" is a gayly-named song of the
pop (and Gay) singing group The Village People. Basking in the
sun and the packed crowd's overwhelming applause, shown in back views are the
following SVA-ers: Dave West,
S.V.A. Public Relationist (left, holding a rainbow Gay pride flag);
S.V.A. Executive Committee (right, wearing rainbow hair); and walking
them is Electra O'Mara, S.V.A.
Recording Secretary (wearing print
dress, parade heels and a campy, cone-shaped
straw hat). Directly ahead in this captivating photo is the
Washington Square Arch. And, literally 'framed' looking through
the famous arch, you
see -- nearly two miles south -- both of the even more famous
symbolic World Trade Center's scenic, stately and spectacular Twin
NYC Pride Parade Pause in Gay Greenwich Village
by Leigh McManus for S.V.A.]
|Shown above in and with the iconic blue 1969 convertible "Stonewall
the following legendary Stonewall Rebellion veterans (l-2-r):
D. Lonesome, S.V.A. 2nd Vice-President (walking
of the car, wearing white shirt and dark cap); Terri Van Dyke, S.V.A.
(riding 'shotgun', partially obscured by the sunny glare on the car's
Ray-Jay McCaffrey (from New Jersey),
S.V.A. Financial Secretary (driving "Big Blue", wearing white
sports cap and shades); Rev. Magora
Kennedy, S.V.A. Chaplain (standing
proudly in the "S/W Car", wearing light beige African gown,
beige headband and sunglasses);
Conni Briana (also from NJ),
an Imperial QUEENS & Kings of Greater New York official
(sitting atop back seat, wearing rainbow boa); and
S.V.A. President (standing next to the classic
convertible). Conni does great stage
performances of famous singer Connie Francis -- also from New Jersey -- and particularly her #1
Gay anthem song "Where The Boys Are"! Walking behind the car and not shown are, among other S/W vets, Jeremiah Newton, Tony Viera, Storme DeLarverie, Leigh McManus, Michael Fesco, Rusty B. Rose, Ramon Bellido and the usually reclusive Mary S. Twist!
SVA's "Leader-of-the-Pack" Willson Henderson
[Photo by Princess Jenni June of IQKNY]
|After several STONEWALL
Veterans Association ("S.V.A.") members momentarily exited the
"Stonewall Car" to stretch their legs, Willson
L. Henderson ("WLH") takes
brief "tea break" from his "Leader of the Pack" directorial and
cheer-leading responsibilities, after
traditionally walking the entire parade route (and continuing to
do so). Notice that WLH was still lightly smokin' Benson & Hedges Lite back then! (Good that
he quit within two years -- thanks to the strong arm of AnDre Christie!) The location
above is on Christopher Street, just
south of Bleecker Street in Greenwich Village, NY. To WLH's left with the red roses
appears to be Queen Allyson
Allante? The black memorial
Willson's shirt was tied there by New York City Police Department
("NYCPD") and Gay Officers'
Action League ("GOAL") official
Cregan in honor of the heroic Gay NYCPD Sergeant Erin J.
suddenly at age 41 at home -- exactly the Sunday before
on June 17th.
Erin was a well-known avid "Friend-of-SVA" and a big fan of the
famous and police-blue 1969"Stonewall Car", which was specially
driven by Willson and Leigh McManus to her
funeral in Franklin Square, Nassau County, Long Island. GOAL's
Morgan, and a few
other GOAL police officers marched half the parade with GOAL and
the other half
with the STONEWALL Rebellion Veterans Association!
"Why Gay Pride Still Tickles Us"
written by David Chun... in 2015!
This personal and interesting Gay Pride story features an iconic photo from
the popular website of the STONEWALL Rebellion Veterans Association!
Here's an excerpt from David Chun's personal coming-out Gay journey:
"Gay Pride season kicks off every year in June, and much like our youth
is chronicled by what grade we were in, my journey of self-acceptance is
time-stamped by the context of each Pride season. In 2003, I celebrated
Pride in Los Angeles, having come out to my very Korean parents. In
2008, the devastating defeat of taking down Proposition 8 colored the march
with righteous angry hues. In 2015, now living in Washington, DC, the marriage
equality victory made for an amorous and ecstatic weekend. The following
year's Pride would be a stark contrast as it was the day after the Pulse
Gay Nightclub massacre in Florida. This year, almost half a century since the first New York City Gay
Pride parade in 1969, it goes without saying that Pride celebrations
have profoundly evolved in meaning and execution...."
David Chun sent the S.V.A. a touching and exceptionally nice note of appreaciation and requesting
permission to use the special 2001 STONEWALL Vets' Assn. photo. That's
the year he came-out as Gay! Mr. "DC" made only one (not unusual)
boo-boo in his story. The Stonewall Rebellion was in 1969 (June
27th). The first Gay Pride parade -- appropriately in New York
City -- to commemorate the historic Gay uprising was a year later in
June of 1970! Read David's article at:
"STONEWALL Newzletta" Editor-in-chief: Leigh P. McManus
52nd Anniversary of the S.R.V.A.
52nd Anniversary of
the Gay Stonewall Rebellion=====
[Friday night, June 27 ~through~
Thursday evening, July 3, 1969, Manhattan, New York City]