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Nyc Pride

Nyc Pride

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Forty and fabulous! The gay-rights movement hits a milestone in ManhattanBY Nicole Carter AND Amy EisingerDAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS Sunday, June 28th 2009, 4:00 AM Braganti for NewsMaurice Michaane, director of the NYC LGBT Pride March, and Jenna Bussman, manager and volunteer, are ready to march this weekend.Miss Understood says of the parade, 'What's a party without a drag queen?' Schumann for NewsAnne Kronenberg will be the grand marshal of New York's 2009 Pride parade.Related NewsArticlesGays still 'fighting to be seen as full humans'Anniversary of Stonewall prompts radio time for gay issuesParticipants hope Pride parade will prompt anti-same-sex-marriage pols to reconsiderForty years ago, a little bar in the West Village spawned a powerful movement for gay civil rights in America.

Sunday, the area will host plenty of activists again.

Not to mention one big party.

The NYC Pride March commemorates the Stonewall riots, which erupted after a police raid on a gay bar, the Stonewall Inn on Christopher St., in 1969.

The riots, which launched the gay-rights movement, have given way to thousands of peaceful marchers, more than 170 eye-popping floats and 350 volunteers.

Beginning at noon, participants from all walks of life will trek from Fifth Ave.

in midtown to Greenwich Village in celebration of gay pride.

For six attendees, the march through Manhattan is just one part of the journey.

ALEX HEIMBERG, AKA MISS UNDERSTOOD Role: Marcher in drag Miss Understood, who's been in films like "Sex and the City" and TV shows like "Project Runway," has been involved with the Pride scene for nearly 20 years, attending the parade for the fun of it as well as marching alongside political and community groups.

Do you always dress in drag for the Pride parade? A long time ago I would just go and march, but now if I go, I go in drag, because it's fun.

It's also a political statement, and besides, what's a party without a drag queen? I like keeping a little edge to the march.

What do you mean? There are certain people always complaining about Gay Pride Day like it's an embarrassment, but I don't think individual people have the responsibility of representing an entire group.

A huge portion of the march is social organizations, bands — it's a big wide mix.

If you want to wear a tie, there are plenty of people who do, but I'll dress in drag.

What's your experience like marching in the parade? Usually lots of people take our picture.

I'm basically like a human party favor, which is what I do professionally all year.

But most of the time, I perform for a straight crowd, rather than a gay crowd, so the parade is always like going back home.

What do you usually wear for the parade? Well, nothing I wear is ever comfortable, but I would wear something that's not too warm, because I have to be out in the bright sun.

I'll walk a bit, then hop a float to rest my feet.

People let you just climb on their float? Well, when you look as good as I do, anyone will let you on their float.

Any other advice for those participating in the parade? Definitely when you're walking in drag, it's helpful to have a few cocktails beforehand — the bright sun on your heavy wig and clothes gets uncomfortable.

But then, beauty is always a little bit painful.

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