New York City is an exciting place to discover lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender culture any time of year. But every June, the five boroughs come alive with parades, festivals and parties that bring this vibrant community's heritage to the forefront of public attention. Here's our guide to this year's wide range of events celebrating the rich history and diversity of the City's LGBTQ community.
Getting a jump on Pride Month, Staten Island's PrideFest celebrates 13 years of SI pride with a week of events in May, including a 5K run, an interfaith service and a “Seniors Prom” for LGBTQ elders. The week ends with a daylong festival on the grounds of the Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden featuring live music, drag performers, food trucks, craft vendors and plenty of activities for folks of all ages, providing a platform for the borough's growing LGBTQ community to show its numbers—and its pride.
Pride month kicks off in the heart of Queens with this annual parade through Jackson Heights, followed by an afternoon street festival that features music, drag performances and local cuisine.
Brooklyn Twilight Parade
The borough puts it own unique twist on its pride parade by starting at dusk for a march through the streets of Park Slope. During the day, there is a pride street fair that takes place on Fifth Avenue between 3rd and 9th Streets. Expect crafts, food and entertainment.
NYC Pride Rally
A month after the Stonewall Riots in June 1969, five hundred peaceful protesters gathered in Washington Square Park to express solidarity and gay pride. Forty-eight years later, the rally continues to serve as the official kickoff for Pride Week. The Pride Rally will feature dozens of well-known speakers and performers and attract thousands of attendees. The event kicks off at 7pm and ends at 10pm.
Pride Luminaries Brunch
The National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce hosts the Pride Luminaries Brunch as part of the City's Pride festitivies in June. This annual event celebrates local LGBTQ business leaders and the impact they have made on their communities. Proceeds from the event will benefit NYC Pride and the planning for the upcoming WorldPride 2019 and Stonewall 50 celebrations.
One of the newer events in the Pride Week lineup, OutCinema showcases a new LGBT film in a special screening at Chelsea's SVA Theatre, with stars and filmmakers in attendance. Organized with the help of the programmers at NewFest, NYC's annual LGBT film festival, this screening will present a current movie that has made special impact on this community. The selection will be announced in spring 2017, and advance tickets will be available online at NYC Pride's website.
Family Movie Night
LGBTQ families are welcomed to Chelsea's Pier 63 for a free evening of outdoor, kid-friendly movie-watching. The Pier will open to the public at 7:30pm for folks to grab a good spot for picnicking before the film starts at dusk. While the event is free, there will also be premium tickets for sale (for reserved seating and prepackaged meals) to support the Heritage of Pride foundation.
Join the Pride Week party for a night of dancing and special acts at this themed event.
Pride Island Friday
Patti Labelle headlines a live concert at Pier 26 to celebrate LGBT Pride. She'll be joined by Deborah Cox and DJ Lina for the first night of Pride Island, a new three-night party that's part of the official Pride Week festivities.
The VIP Rooftop Party
Be a part of one of the most popular boys' parties of NYC Pride Week, and dance the afternoon and night away on the rooftop of Hudson Terrace. A lineup of the best NYC DJs will keep the energy going throughout this eight-hour celebration. Proceeds from the party, which sells out every year, benefit Pride Week events and community organizations.
Harlem Pride Day
Taking place in Jackie Robinson Park, the seventh annual Harlem Pride extravaganza includes artists, food, entertainment and activities for families, adults and youth of all cultures. The free festival takes place from noon to 6pm.
This women's dance party takes place on the Saturday afternoon of Pride Weekend, bringing together a diverse crowd for party that will beneft LGBTQ groups. The festivities, which used to be outdoors, are being relocated inside this year to The DL on the Lower East Side.
Masterbeat: Game Show
The Hammerstein Ballroom is home again to the official Saturday night Pride dance party, Masterbeat. This four-level space, built by Oscar Hammerstein more than a hundred years ago, should be packed with up to 3,000 revelers for a night of dancing and chance. This year's event features a game show theme, with a promise of cash and prizes in live versions of classic TV shows like The Price is Right, Wheel of Fortune and Press Your Luck—look out for the Whammy!
Pride Island Saturday
Pride Island's second night will rock Tribeca's Pier 26 with some exciting new age acts. The lineup for this live-music dance party features Grammy-nominated duo Tegan and Sara, Roisin Murphy and Years & Years.
The streets of New York City are never so festive and energized as they are during the annual Pride March. Outlandish outfits, extravagant floats and spontaneous dance parties blend perfectly with the political components of this civil rights march, which got its start back in 1970 on the first anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. The march steps off in Midtown at noon (Fifth Avenue and 36th Street) and heads downtown where it winds its way through the streets of the West Village. This event is free and open to the public, though to march in the parade individuals must affiliate themselves with an officially registered group; a list of groups will be posted on the Pride Week website in June.
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 22nd year. The PrideFest smorgasbord runs along Hudson Street, from 14th Street to Abingdon Square, just a few blocks away from the end of the march route, and also just a few blocks from the Hudson River. This event is free and open to the public and takes place from 11am to 6pm.
Pride Island Sunday
Pride Week ends with this epic party, formerly known as Dance on the Pier (it's still held on Tribeca's Pier 26). DJs Soctt Martin, Cindel and Chus & Ceballos will keep the beats flowing at this eight-hour long tea dance as the suns sets on the Hudson and fireworks light up the sky. This event wraps up the new Pride Island series and will feature a celebrity headliner—previous guest stars have included LGBTQ faves such as Cher, Jennifer Lopez and Janet Jackson.