2006_06_prideparadelogo.jpgThe Gay Pride Parade started at noon at Fifth Avenue and 52nd Street, but don't worry, you'll be able to check it out as it winds its way down Fifth, making a right when it right 8th Street and then heads towards Christopher Street, and will take a few hours. And there will be lots of celebrating along the way and afterwards, what with Pridefest and the Dance on the Pier. The parade's co-Grand Marshals are Florent Morellet and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn.

One person who has been looking forward to the parade is Kevin Aviance, the drag queen assaulted by a couple of teens in the East Village. Aviance had been dressed in regular men's clothing when he left Phoenix on East 13th Street, making gay and straight people alike concerned over neighborhood safety; his attackers have been arraigned. Aviance will be sitting on the HX magazine float during the parade. Though he's unable to dance and sing due to the injuries sustained, he told the Daily News, "Those boys, 'm so sorry that you chose the wrong queen!"

Expect lots of politicians to march, as it's a big election year, with Senate, gubernatorial, and other state and local races. In a disclosure made last night, Republican Senate hopeful Kathleen T. McFarland said her childhood home was "physically abusive home and [that she] became estranged from family members" - including her gay brother over "objections to his lifestyle." She doesn't directly refer to her brother being gay in the statement, though she has been trying to attract gay Republicans to her cause. McFarland lost the Republican nomination to former Yonkers head John Spencer, but hopes to have a run-off in the fall.