Calendar of Events
NYC Rainbow Pilgrimage
This spring and summer are an especially auspicious time to visit New York City and share in the spirit of inclusion and pride as the City commemorates the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots with NYC's Rainbow Pilgrimage. Here, we highlight events happening now through Pride Week (June 20–28), but be sure to check back frequently for updates on what’s happening throughout this landmark year. And visit our full events calendar to find out what’s taking place across the five boroughs.
1969: The Year of Gay Liberation
The New York Public Library: Stephen A. Schwarzman Building
For the LGBT community, 1969 was a hugely transformative year, from the results of the Stonewall Riots to the creation of a number of radical organizations. The Stokes Gallery presents an exhibition of photographs and original documents showcasing the emergence of this redefined community in 1969: The Year of Gay Liberation.
June 19–June 27
Homo Harlem: A Film Retrospective
Celebrating gay life and culture in New York’s Harlem, this cinematic collection includes feature films, documentaries on black gay and lesbian artists (including Audre Lorde, Billy Strayhorn and James Baldwin) and walking tours of Harlem. Planned as a tribute to the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall rebellion—a turning point in the gay rights movement—Homo Harlem also offers panel discussions with artists and writers on gay issues. Visit harlemonestop.com for more information.
LGBT Art Gallery Tour
Meet at 526 W. 26th St. (bet. Tenth and Eleventh Aves.)
The tour features exhibits by LGBT artists and those of interest to the community. Led by Rafael Risemberg, an art critic for the New York Blade and a former gay-studies professor, the tours change from month to month, and they take place, rain or shine. They are a great place to meet other LGBT people with similar interests. Visit nygallerytours.com for more information.
NYC LGBT Pride Rally
In June 1969, in the aftermath of the Stonewall Riots, 500 peaceful protesters gathered in Washington Square Park to express solidarity and gay pride. Forty years later, the New York City LGBT Pride Rally is now the official kickoff for Pride Week. Now held in Bryant Park, the rally features dozens of well-known performers and speakers and attracts thousands of attendees. Visit nycpride.org for more information.
Bushwick LGBTQ Pride and Solidarity March & BBQ
Meet at 301 Grove Street, Brooklyn
Since 2004, Make the Road New York, a nonprofit organization focused on assisting and empowering low-income and recent immigrant New Yorkers, has been sponsoring this annual event promoting LBGTQ pride in the Bushwick section of Brooklyn. They return this year with a march through the busy streets of the neighborhood, ending with a block party and barbecue as well as musical performances. Visit maketheroadny.org for more information.
Pride Goes East
East Village/Lower East Side
The West Village and Chelsea are New York's traditional hotspots for Pride Week, but this year the East Village and the Lower East Side are getting into the action. Celebrate all things queer and proud with LGBT art shows and theater performances at neighborhood venues such as La MaMa, DUO Multi-Cultural Arts Center and WOW Café Theatre. Festivities culminate in PRIDE Meets the Streets on June 27, a block party that includes performances, rainbow kite flying and fabulous costumes galore. Visit pridegoeseast.com for more information.
The Stonewall Inn
Though the work of the New York City Anti-Violence Project is of a serious nature, the group still knows how to throw a good party. The organization's annual FUSION fundraiser, now in its ninth year, brings together supporters to meet and mingle at the popular Stonewall Inn. All proceeds benefit the Anti-Violence Project's work in the LGBT community, which includes professional and peer-support counseling as well as other services. Visit avp.org for more information.
Spirit of Pride: A Service of Thanksgiving & Celebration
Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine
Honor the 40th anniversary of Stonewall through words and music at this interfaith service held in support of LGBT rights and equality. Expect performances from the Gay Men’s Chorus and commemorations by religious and community leaders. Don’t miss the cathedral’s triptych in the Chapel of St. Columba, one of the last works by artist Keith Haring. Visit harlemonestop.comfor more information.
Safer Sex in the City
The AIDS Services Center NYC hosts this deliciously naughty fundraising gala to support New Yorkers living with HIV and AIDS. Drag queen Flotilla DeBarge, known for her outrageous one-woman shows, is the evening's main attraction. But if Flotilla's high-heeled antics aren't enough, stick around for the celebrity sightings, safer-sex product demonstrations, a silent auction and dance-floor madness courtesy of DJ Vic Latino. Visit safersexinthecity.org for more information.
First Annual Village Pride Bar Tour
Get Pride weekend started right with a gay bar crawl across the West Village. At the historic Stonewall Inn, revelers can pick up Pride Tour maps and bracelets for exclusive food and drink deals in the neighborhood. Participating bars include Boots & Saddle, The Cubbyhole, the Dugout, Ty's and the Hangar. Visit pzpromotions.com for more information and to purchase presale tickets.
Since 1993, the lesbian community has taken to the streets once a year to protest discrimination, harassment, violence and other issues women continue to confront. Open solely to women and renowned for its energy (participants are encouraged to bring everything from signs to giant puppets to hula hoops), the New York City Dyke March wends its way from Bryant Park to Washington Square Park. Visit their MySpace site for more information.
Rapture on the River
Pier 54 (13th St. and Eleventh Ave.)
Thousands of women dancing at sunset on Pier 54? Rapture, indeed. Popular Fire Island DJ Susan Levine spins high-energy sets at Rapture on the River, the sixth annual Pride Week rave for women. All proceeds from this wildly popular evening benefit Pride Week events and community organizations. Visit nycpride.org for more information.
The 40th Annual LGBT Pride March
Fifth Ave. and 52nd St. to Christopher and Greenwich Sts.
The streets of New York City are never so festive, outrageous and energized as they are during the annual LGBT Pride March. Outlandish floats and spontaneous dance parties blend perfectly with the political components of this 40-year-old civil rights march. Hit the heart of the West Village near the parade route's conclusion to find the liveliest participants. Visit nycpride.org for more information.
Hudson St. (bet. Abingdon Sq. and W. 14th St.)
The streets spill over with a vibrant mixture of food and craft vendors, musicians, entertainers and local residents at the annual Pride Week street fair, now in its 16th year. The Pridefest smorgasbord starts at Hudson and 14th Streets, just a quick walk from the Hudson River piers, an excellent place to watch the sunset after a day of celebration. Visit nycpride.org for more information.
NYC LGBT Dance on the Pier
Pier 54 (13th St. and Eleventh Ave.)
Capping off the excitement of Pride Week, the New York City LGBT Dance on the Pier is an invigorating montage of bodies, lights and music. Fireworks crash against the Hudson skyline as some of the City's hottest DJs—including Phillip Kimball, Jack Reina and Corey Craig—keep the crowds grooving. Visit nycpride.org for more information.
Maranatha’s LGBT Pride Breakfast
Maranatha, a ministry of the Riverside Church committed to supporting building greater understanding of the LGBT community, continues its annual tradition of offering breakfast prior to the Gay Pride Parade. Maranatha, which means “Lord, come to me,” has a float in the parade, and regularly meets at the Riverside Church on the second Sunday of every month. Visit harlemonestop.com for more information.
July 1–August 1
HOT! Festival of LGBT Performance and Culture
The HOT! Festival presents its 18th year of sometimes naughty, sometimes political and always entertaining LGBT theater and performances. Promising "homoeroticism for the whole family," the 2009 festival includes performances by one-woman cabaret artist Dynasty Handbag, YouTube video comedians VGL Boys and experimental theater troupe Big Art Group. Don't miss the premiere of Old Queen, a specially commissioned show by the wittily transgressive playwright (and former Warhol "it girl") Penny Arcade. Visit hotfestival.org for a full schedule and more information.