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====Stonewall 32====
New York City
Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender

Sunday, June 24th
 =always the last Sunday in June=

@ 12 noon
Manhattan, New York
"Capital of The World"

!!  The  !!

The S.V.A. leads the 2001 NYC Gay Pride Parade and views the W.T.C. Twin Towers
[Photo by Willson L. Henderson]

The STONEWALL Rebellion Veterans Association ("S.V.A.") with the big blue 1969 convertible also known as the "Stonewall Car" leading the "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 residential co-op 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 beautiful 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); Shelli Vannelli, S.V.A. Executive Committee (right, wearing rainbow hair); and walking ahead of 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 historic, landmarked, locally-symbolic Washington Square Arch.  And, literally 'framed' looking through the famous arch, you can clearly see -- nearly two miles south -- both of the even more famous and universally symbolic World Trade Center's scenic, stately and spectacular Twin Towers!!


NYC Pride Parade Pause in Gay Greenwich Village
[Photo by Leigh McManus for S.V.A.]

Shown above in and with the iconic blue 1969 convertible "Stonewall Car" are the following legendary Stonewall Rebellion veterans (l-2-r):  Keith D. Lonesome, S.V.A. 2nd Vice-President (walking alongside the far side of the car, wearing white shirt and dark cap); Terri Van Dyke, S.V.A. Treasurer (riding 'shotgun', partially obscured by the sunny glare on the car's huge windshield); 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 Willson Henderson, 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 Rebellion Veterans Association ("S.V.A.") members momentarily exited the "Stonewall Car" to stretch their legs, Willson L. Henderson ("WLH") takes a 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 ribbon on Willson's shirt was tied there by New York City Police Department ("NYCPD") and Gay Officers' Action League ("GOAL") official Ann Cregan in honor of the heroic Gay NYCPD Sergeant Erin J. O'Reilly, who died 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 Chaplain, Reverend Pat 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...."

Note:  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

27th July  
52nd Anniversary of the S.R.V.A.


=====2021:  52nd Anniversary of the Gay Stonewall Rebellion=====
[Friday night, June 27 ~through~ Thursday evening, July 3, 1969, Manhattan, New York City]


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