Swish Voices June 11, 2012

No Ordinary Marching Experience

West Coast Swisher, Rusty Best, reminisces about his 2011 NYC Pride March experience with Swish.

Rusty Best

March in the NYC Pride parade on Sunday, June 24th and you’ll brighten up one of life’s most fun weekends.  March, and surround yourself with seemingly millions of like-minded friends amidst a mass of fantastical and wildly energetic happiness. 

If you are considering marching for the first time, or marching once again, and you’re open to a nudge, this is it.  Do it with Swish, a contingent that really gets it. They know how to work a parade route! 

You’ll experience what it is like to be in a contingent that gives both the crowds and you what is craved - the desire to be moved and stirred up into a fantastical aliveness.  You’ll experience it. Spectators along the route react with excitement, wonder and widening eyes as the music gets louder and you dance or march towards them (precisely what happened with last year’s soundtrack by DJs Sean McMahon and Carlos Nascimento).  Those behind the barricades will lean in and reach out and cheer you on while wondering who this cool-looking and great-sounding group is, curious as to what this “Swish” is about that’s passing by. 

As someone who’s been to a number of Pride parades and who enjoys watching how audiences react, I can’t say enough about how great it’s going to feel when you sense spectators wanting to jump into the streets with you to join in and dance. You’ll see!

Your parade-day starts off with the necessary logistics of getting yourself to the staging area, easier said than done if you’ve been part of the weekend’s marathon of dance and party excesses.  Last year, three of us who visited NYC from San Francisco, me and my wonderful friends Suzan Revah and Graig Cooper (both of lovemygays.com), somehow managed to make it to the Swish parade-staging area during what was for us a no-sleep weekend (partly due to the celebrations around New York State’s legalization of same-sex marriage).  Our main secret to looking parade-ready: sunglasses.  You’ll find that staging-area time is great for hanging out and making new friends, kicking the day nicely in to gear.

Swish’s theme celebrating their 10th anniversary is “We Are Family.” How perfect. With that, I hope you’ll get out of bed Sunday morning, put some sunglasses on, join your family, channel your inner-diva, and march and dance with flair to the music with beautiful people.  Sound like a plan??

Thanks for reading and giving me a chance to reminisce, and I suggest ever-so-strongly that you enjoy this euphoric mind-blowing day with this class-act of an organization.

Rusty is a West Coast Swisher from San Francisco, CA.