July 08

World Pride Weekend NYC

The following isn’t necessarily a post about my Pulse experience per se. But, I think it was the universe linking Pulse to some ‘personal’ activities that my family planned. Sometimes the Universe screams at you and in this case reaffirmed why my PULSE assignment with Open for Business and promoting LGBT+ rights is absolutely the right match for me!

Several months ago, we made plans to go to NYC on a Friday night to see a show. Several weeks later Spectrum* sent out a note saying that GSK/Viiv would be marching in the World Pride Parade on Sunday, June 30th. Connecting the dots…I realized that we would be in NYC on that date so I signed my family up to march. In hind sight, I should have realized what the particular weekend was b/c the show we went to see was a Drag Show!!!

We’ve been to NYC before and it’s always a busy place. But we were completely unprepared for the number of people in town b/c of World Pride. At several points (see pictures) it was just wall-to-wall people and we had to move an inch at a time – and that was in the streets. Also, we’ve never experienced quite the diversity of dress or in several cases undress!

It was a pleasure to meet/see so many GSK folks and their families as we prepared to march.  We gathered at 4 for a 6pm march.  Unfortunately, 6 turned into 7, turned into 8, turned into 8:40…and we still hadn’t left our gathering point.  At 8:40 we thought we were headed out to march, which we did, for a total of about 20 feet.  Then 9:30 rolled around and the Cromwell’s had to leave in order to get back home.  So, after all that waiting we didn’t actually march with GSK.  Instead Kevin, Bella and I unofficially marched by joining other groups that were on the parade route – but we still proudly wore our GSK T-shirts and waved our GSK/Viiv pride flags.

Thanks to my Pulse assignment, I’ve become part of Open for Business, a group of passionate people focused on equality for LGBT+ people. I don’t know that I would have attended World Pride had it not been for my involvement with Open for Business. I’m so glad that we participated as a family!

*GSK’s ERG supporting inclusion of all people regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression