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NEW YORK It was another scalding Sunday afternoon in June: Time for bodybuilding Chelsea boys to pull on the hot pants, time for militant feminist lesbians to leave their shirts at home, time for the Gay and Lesbian Pride March.
The 31st annual parade included the usual mix of debaucherous revelers enjoying the roving party and earnest political activists calling for support of gay rights issues. Likewise, extravagant floats--many from Bond Parade Floats & Displays Inc., of Clifton, New Jersey--came from political and charitable organizations as well as numerous bars and clubs.
The route started uptown near St. Patrick's Cathedral and went down Fifth Avenue to Greenwich Village and through Sheridan Square, ending with a street festival near the Hudson with food and drink vendors and information booths from organizations and corporate sponsors.
Yet even with the mix of drag queens, go-go boys and divas working the crowds, the biggest cheers from parade watchers went to the first lady, Hillary Rodham Clinton, campaigning her way down Fifth Avenue. On the heels of a group called the Radical Faeries--dressed especially colorfully, even in this crowd --she wore a sensible black suit and a wide brimmed hat.