Jonathan Adler | Commemorating Pride Month
June is Pride Month–dedicated to celebrating the diversity of the LGBTQ community, honoring its history and host to some of the most wild, colorful parades around the world. This year, we’re asking just some of the many out and inspiring individuals in the fashion and design industries what the month means to them.
No stranger to The Thread, the affable potter, designer, author and founder of his eponymous enterprise Jonathan Adler shares his perspective on Pride and what he’s seen in the New York LGBTQ community after over 25 years living in the city.
In a nutshell, what’s a normal day like for you?
There is no normal day. I’ll go from making a mold on the wheel in the pottery studio to a meeting with our president about a new store opening to a brainstorm session with our marketing team to come up with subject lines for our emails. I’m lucky to work with such fun and talented people.
After work, I race home to have dinner, read, watch TV and beat my husband at Ping-Pong.
What’s your first memory of celebrating Pride Month?
I moved to New York in 1989 in the middle of the AIDS crisis, and Pride was an incredibly poignant and powerful moment. I moved here hoping to find creative fulfillment and amour and excitement, but it was all happening against the backdrop of AIDS. There was a lot of laughter and a lot of tears. My favorite part of Pride weekend was the transcendental (even spiritual?) Dance on the Pier.
What does Pride Month mean to you?
Pride has become less mournful and more celebratory. The LGBTQ community has made huge legal leaps in the last couple of years, and Pride is an opportunity to reflect on how far we’ve come. And, I suppose, it’s an opportunity for moi to reflect on my own New York journey from 22-year-old to my current ancient self; I’m legally married to a brilliant man and I’ve been able to build a really creative career. I must remember to be less grumpy!
What are you doing this year to celebrate?
I love to go to the Pride parade, which is conveniently located a block from my apartment. I’ve been in New York for over 25 years so I’m a little jaded, but the madness of the parade is energizing. I love to see the carnival of young and old and gay and straight. Everyone should go to a New York Gay Pride parade at least once. It’s hilarious.
How would you love to see Pride Month evolve in the United States or the world?
Not to get all preachy, but as the LGBTQ community has made such incredible leaps in the U.S. and a lot of the Western world, things have actually gotten a lot worse for our brethren in many parts of the world. I would love to see a greater focus on helping our peeps in trouble.