The City Where You Can Freely Be Who You Are

This time last week I was sitting in Central Park with my best friend Alex as we had our “college student picnic”, by that we mean we bought a bag of almonds, some grapes, lemonade, and chocolate covered blueberries and called it a meal! Anyway, we were sitting in the grass just talking and laughing, just killing time before seeing Paramour. Then I looked around and noticed a guy wearing solely a speedo, dancing to Blink 182, which was being played by the next group over, dancing with a red solo cup. That is when I began laughing, eventually fading into a smile as seen above, and realized something: in New York you truly can be whomever you want, and others will rarely give you a second look.

I remember at my second internship someone I worked with went to Thailand and recounted how numerous people stopped and stared at her just for having blonde hair. She was so thankful to return to New York and said: “I love this city, I can walk around in a prom dress and a tiara, doing cartwheels down the sidewalk, and no New Yorker will stare.

I believe this quality New Yorkers have, or attain, is a combination of both tolerance and acceptance. Another friend of mine is from Guatemala, and in her country it is absurd for two people of the same sex walking down the street while holding hands, let alone kissing. Meanwhile, in New York, if anyone drew negative attention to an lgbtq+ couple numerous people would tell them to stfu.

This is one of the many reasons I love my city! I can walk down the street in shorts and not be reprimanded because it is against a religion, or run around in a cape and cat ears while singing the abc’s and, unless I am not walking fast enough, no one will care. Hell, a large majority of New Yorkers take a day to ride the subway without pants, and dress up as Santa en mass in Times Square while bar hopping!

For those of you who are not fortunate enough to live within this acceptance I truly hope you are able to visit New York and feel the freedom of being completely who you are, and possibly even branching out and doing something a little absurd just to have fun!

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