When I was little, I desperately wished I was a mermaid. Back then, I would pretend to be Ariel in the bathtub with my hair flailing out in the water. Needless to say, I don’t think it’s a big surprise that the prospect of going to the Mermaid Parade at Coney Island had me giddy with anticipation.
Normally, I am the queen of crafty, inexpensive costume creation, but I somehow neglected to think through my outfit until late Friday night. Initially I resigned to just wear my typical pirate outfit, but I made the poor decision of Instagram surfing #mermaidparade when I woke up Saturday morning. After viewing all the gorgeous get-ups other parade-goers were preparing, I decided I needed to be more creative.
I started searching through my closet and craft box, while wishing I had kept the bags of seashells I donated when clearing out my craft supplies. Eventually, I pulled out some vintage lace scraps I bought at a yard sale in Massachusetts, an odd lavender bra that I never wear, and my favorite green scarf. After quickly adorning the bra with some lace (safety pins are my best friend) and wrapping the scarf around my waist, I had a make-shift mermaid costume. I added some colorful make up and my red cosplay wig to complete the outfit. Morgan decided to wear my pirate accessories. I was glad to have a costumed companion!
It was my first time going to Coney Island, and while I’d heard tales of the theme-park-esque atmosphere and the beautiful beach, I had no idea what I was in for. Thankfully, we had some of our amazing friends with us, excited to participate in the festivities. As we rode the F train, more and more folks in sea faring attire hopped on board. For the first time since I moved to New York, I noticed that people on the subway were chatty and excited. In fact, multiple people nodded hello at the sight of our costumes and wished us a “Happy Mermaid Parade!”
Coney Island is a magical place. The boardwalk is full of picturesque food booths and the rides and games were exactly like I pictured. The Mermaid Parade itself was full of beautiful costumes, artists, and some of the best people you will ever meet.
Despite reservations about celebratory Pride events, I was grateful to start out NYC’s Pride week with a non-pride event (which is, of course, widely attended by the queer community!). The love and pride for Coney Island and for the Mermaid Parade shown by so many members of the New York City community made me remember that despite the flaws in execution, these events are important spaces for bringing our communities together. While Pride events of today may lack the activist streak of Stonewall, it is still important to be able to come out (pun intended) and share in laughter and joy together.
With that, I’m excited to announce that this week will be filled with some great new content. We have a line up that includes sex toy reviews, giveaways, and a very special birthday (hint: Morgan’s)!
Happy Pride Week, NYC!