Thousands upon thousands they came, descending upon my ordinarily sedate Lincoln Square neighborhood of Manhattan's Upper West Side. They were gay, straight, young old, male, female, black, white, local, foreign and everything in between and beyond. They were gorgeous. (If you couldn't find yourself a husband or a wife in this crowd, you need to, well, I'm just sayin'.)
They convened at the silent and locked down Mormon Temple and they marched down Broadway, over to Central Park West and down to Columbus Circle.
After the jump you'll find my video and a link to my photos.
I bumped into Bilerico's Matt Foreman who was totally stunned by the size of the crowd and remarked that we were looking at the future, and that while gay advocacy groups did a lot of hand wringing and fretting about what to do next, this thing was generated from the ground up, and virally.
I bumped into Bilerico's Eric Leven who wondered what the old Act Up could have achieved if they had had the power of the internet.
Although at times they raised their voices, this immense crowd never became an angry mob. No one stepped out of line. This crowd had the conviction of truth in its faces and I came away convinced that we will win this war. Most of the men and women in this crowd have never known a time without HIV. Have never known a time when organizational intimidation was acceptable. Have always taken for granted their ability to pull the plug on even the largest of oppressors.
There were no speeches. Not one speech. No politicians or celebrities on platforms. Just a crowd of people calling for justice, and taking over the lead where our leaders, both of state and church, have failed.
(In the video, don't miss the "two vaginas" sign at about 4:00 minutes in. Also, at about 5:40 into it, you will see Andy Towle of the blog Towleroad whipping up the crowd at the head of the march.)