Yesterday I hung out with the mascot of the NYC Pride Parade’s presenting sponsor, the Coca Cola Polar Bear from Coca Cola, and my life has been forever changed. It has always been a dream of mine to visit New York City and the place where “gay rights” all started, the Stonewall Hotel, but it has always been an even bigger dream to hang out with the Coca Cola Polar Bear. This weekend, I got to do both.
Many consider the riots at The Stonewall as the beginning of the gay equality movement, and that may be partially true, but let’s not forget who is leading the fight against gay discrimination today: The Coca Cola Polar Bear.
After spending some time with the Coca Cola Polar Bear this weekend and picking his brain, I learned some valuable lessons about gay equality, about myself, and about Pride. I hope those who protested during the Stonewall Era (who may or may not even still be alive) have learned their own lessons since then. I hope they see how people like the Coca Cola Polar Bear are the only people who can bring about real change and real movement in the battle for gay civil rights. The Stonewall people didn’t have a Polar Bear.
The Stonewall people could learn a thing or two from companies like Coca Cola and mascots like the Coca Cola Polar Bear, because they are the ones who are making this country truly equal. Corporations are what bring Pride and Acceptance to the mainstream, not random people throwing bottles outside of a hotel in the 1960’s. Luckily, The Stonewall Hotel is a relic of the past, and the future of gay rights, gay freedom, and gay culture at large is in the hands of companies like Coca Cola and Pop Chips.
While the fight for same sex marriage and same sex civil rights continues, visiting The Stonewall this weekend was a stoic reminder of those who had come before me and tried to fight for so many of the freedoms I take for granted now. The freedoms that people like the Coca Cola Polar Bear are helping me achieve today. The freedom to marry in New York City. The freedom to serve as an openly gay man in the military. The freedom to have a gay adoption.
The freedom to go on my boyfriend’s health insurance via his job as a cashier at Target.
The freedom to choose to drink Coke, Diet Coke, or Coke Zero.
The freedom to be employed as a gay ass flight attendant and jump out of a Jet Blue airplane.
The freedom to sext gay cock shots using my iPhone, via AT&T.
The freedom to fill my gay prescriptions at Walgreens.
The freedom to have a gay joint checking account with my gay boyfriend at Wells Fargo.
The freedom to enjoy the hot food bar at Whole Foods without being bullied because of my sexuality.
The freedom to openly sit next to my partner on a Delta Airlines flight.
The freedom to share a Bud Light with my lover.
The Stonewall is where a lot of these freedoms were first introduced, but the Stonewall is in the past. I am not living in the past. After hanging out with the Coca Cola Polar Bear at NYC’s Gay Pride Parade this weekend, I am more inspired than ever to show those Stonewall people how it is really done. I am Proud to stand with the Coca Cola Polar Bear in the fight for gay civil rights.