The Wild & Wacky: Photographs from NYC's LGBTQ Pride Weekend (NSFW)

NYC's LGBTQ Pride weekend is by far one of my favorite events to photograph. Between the loud excitement of the parade and the colorful display of eccentric characters, the event attracts a special kind of crowd: a big ball of love and happiness ready to strip half naked, vogue, twerk, "yaaaasss" all day and—to my advantage—have their photo taken in all sorts of compromising positions.

There has always been a fuzzy place in my heart for the gay community and I find great comfort in the weird, the wild and the wacky: a lot of which overwhelms the West Village on this particular weekend. 

The parade which starts at 36th Street and 5th Avenue and ending at the corner of Christopher and Greenwich Street is a thrilling exhaustion of costumed or naked people on floats waving and mooning the crowd, throwback disco music, rainbow glitter, passionate political statements, senators and congressmen parading to gain votes, gorgeous and not so gorgeous drag queens, cops, gay cops, cops with machine guns, Orange is the New Black actors, and big brands throwing up their logos.

The political highlights this year were lots and lots of support for Orlando, anti-NRA activists, Dump Trumpers, Babes for Bernie, and one of the most populated parade posses: Hillary Clinton's "Love Trumps Hate" campaign.

What warmed my heart the most were the prideful gay and transgendered NYPD officers showing their support. Every year it fails to rob my utter thrill for how far society has come, how love and acceptance has turned a solid page on fear and hatred and how a once severely oppressed people have become so celebrated. 

With that said, there is still a lot of work to do, but each year, I feel honored to experience the overwhelming joy of this outrageous celebration, leaving me so grateful to live in a city and in an era where being different is simply awesome.

For daily posts, folllow me on instagram @ericasimone

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