Friday, June 25, 2021

Pride Month Remarks From President Biden And Thoughts From A Roosevelt Island Resident, Representation And Visibility Matters - Local Celebration At FDR Park And Graduate Hotel This Weekend


Resident Thom Heyer reflects on 2021 Pride Month experienced here on Roosevelt Island. According to Mr Heyer:

Representation & Visibility Does Matter

When my husband & I left Chelsea, almost 4 years ago to move to Roosevelt Island, it was with zero regrets. 

We've both found Roosevelt Island to be welcoming & full of possibilities.  

I've enjoyed participating with many of the organizations and events on the island:  Fall For the Arts, Open Doors, RIVAA, RIHS, MSTDA, Cornell Tech, concerts, community demonstrations & protests. "Showing up" actually seems to matter when you live in a community the size of ours. 

In 2019 when RIOC put up rainbow flags for the first time to celebrate Pride Month, my first thought was " 'bout time!"
But then I stopped being so cynical & started to take in the joy. 
Being a 60 year old gay man, I have lived through MANY phases of Queer identity in NYC.
I love going to the Pride Parade every year to see that wonderful range of "my people" from the ridiculous to the sublime!
Granted, it now seems to be a bloated example of capitalism & corporate America, but I sure missed the parade last year when it was cancelled because of Covid.
I also missed seeing the rainbow flags up last year on Roosevelt Island.
I could have used the little bit of comfort I always get from seeing the rainbow flags.
They somehow feel like the community at large saying, "I SEE you & your Queer life has value to me!"
I gave RIOC a free pass last year, because NOTHING was normal.
I put two little rainbow flags in a flower pot on my deck overlooking the Meditation Steps last year.
I wanted our local Queer community to know that I saw each and every one of them!
If I looked stupid, at least my heart was in the right place....
June arrived this year & WHERE were the rainbow flags?
The Queer community has not left the island--I assure you we are still here! 
I finally got around to emailing two members of RIOC who I know.
I told them that to be acknowledged one year & then not after that seemed insensitive at best & insulting at worst.
They told me I was correct & assured me it was an oversite.
They were scrambling to get some type of representation up by the final weekend.
I'm sure I was not the only one contacting RIOC, but I am thankful that I can "call them out" & know that they will listen.
The people I talked to responded with an open heart.
We'll see what turns up this weekend, because I WILL BE LOOKING! 
Please know that representation and visibility DOES matter.
We all want to be acknowledged & valued & acknowledging our LGBTQ+ community on Roosevelt Island IS important--
"Happy Pride, Everyone!"

The Roosevelt Island FDR Four Freedoms Park is recognizing Pride Month this weekend with Drag Queen story hour on Saturday and Sunday

... Through storytelling and creativity, DQSH teaches children about gender diversity and all forms of difference to build empathy and give kids the confidence to express themselves however they feel comfortable...

Roosevelt Island's Graduate Hotel is celebrating Pride Month with a Saturday afternoon of Pop Ups and Sweet Treats:

The newly opened Graduate Roosevelt Island who will be hosting a series of pop-ups from NYC favorites on Saturday, June 26th including Big Gay Ice Cream, nail-art and mini manicures from Paint Box, Magic Mix Juicery, a Pride-inspired floral design from East Olivia. A pop-up shop will also feature specialty candles by Queer Candle Co., iconic clothing from MessQueen, and incredibly fun accessories by Smiley Goods, and RatTrapp, Graduate Roosevelt Island is excited to welcome all, through their brand new doors. 

The hotel’s restaurant, Anything At All, will also be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner during the festivities.

Grannie Annie's Bar & Kitchen is displaying the Rainbow Banner.
In 2019, the FDR 4 Freedoms Park celebrated Pride Month by transforming it monument staircase into NYC's largest Pride Flag.

Happy Pride Month 

UPDATE 7/7 - The rainbow colored Pride Flags are flying over Blackwell Turnaround.