Pride Guide 2011
by David Sokol, 05/25/2011
- more in gay/
During the past year, the gay rights movement has made huge strides toward marriage equality, and it has crossed the finish line with the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell. But the struggle for acceptance endures, particularly among younger people, so Pride 2011 participants across the five boroughs will be feting their victories while proving that, indeed, it gets better. The celebration, activism and gay-friendly artistic expression flow through the June calendar. And from the smallest exhibition to the legendary Broadway Bares XXI: Masterpiece and the Heritage of Pride March (which had about 1.5 million participants last year), young people can find a range of role models to look up to—or simply witness the LGBT community's tremendous contributions to the political and cultural life of New York. For highlights of June's pride events, see the calendar below; for updates, be sure to check out nycpride.org throughout the month.
Mixed Messages: A(I)DS, Art + Words
June 2–July 3; La MaMa La Galleria, 6 E. 1st St., lamama.org
Since 1989, the nonprofit group Visual AIDS has raised awareness of AIDS and HIV prevention through contemporary art, and Mixed Messages: A(I)DS, Art + Words continues in that tradition. This exhibition comprises text-based artworks, by artists and designers including Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Glenn Ligon, Deborah Kass, Yoko Ono and David Wojnarowicz. A 6pm reception opens the exhibition on June 2, and a series of public programs will correspond with the show.
Staten Island Pride, Queens Pride Parade and Festival, and Brooklyn Pride
June 4, noon–4pm (Staten Island, silgbtcenter.org); June 5, noon–6pm (Queens, queenspride.com); June 11, 9am–9:30pm (Brooklyn, brooklynpride.org)
Just as the LGBT population fans across all of New York City, so do Pride Week celebrations. Because these borough events are decidedly smaller and lower-key affairs, this is the time to reconnect with neighbors and psych up for Manhattan's mega-march. The Staten Island parade steps off from Central Avenue at Slosson Terrace and concludes in Tompkinsville Square Park. In Queens' Jackson Heights neighborhood, 50,000 people are expected to enjoy a parade (and judging for the Queenie Awards), as well as performances and a Multicultural Festival along 37th Avenue. Brooklyn Pride's 15th-annual celebration is an all-day-and-night affair. A 5-kilometer fun run threading through Prospect Park starts at Bartel-Pritchard Square at 9am, and kicking off from Fifth Avenue and 14th Street at 7:30 that evening is the Northeast's first-ever pride march after dusk.
Pride Goes East
June 4, 3:30–7:30pm; Orchard Street between East Houston and Stanton Streets, pridegoeseast.com
The Lower East Side launches its monthlong pride celebration on June 4 with a four-hour block party that starts at 3:30pm. The party starts with a Lady Gaga look-alike contest; among the judges will be critic Jason Zinoman, artist Carmelita Tropicana and the emperor and empress of the Imperial Court of New York. Throughout June, Fourth Arts Block venues and participating businesses will be offering special performances and shopper discounts, with the philanthropic Imperial Court receiving proceeds.
Stonewall Rocks II
June 11, 8–10pm; Landmark on the Park, 160 Central Park West (at W. 76th St.), brownpapertickets.com
This recently launched annual concert is a perfect fit for fans of jukebox musicals. The Stonewall Chorale, said to be America's first lesbian and gay chorus, will perform popular and Broadway songs with help from the rock band Dandy Pants and from the Metropolitan Community Church Choir. Tickets are $30.
June 18, 3–6pm; Rumsey Field, Central Park (off Fifth Avenue and West 72nd Street), nycpride.org
The 2011 Rally returns to SummerStage, in Central Park's Rumsey Field. Clocking in at about 3,700 attendees in Bryant Park in 2010, the rally is a smaller counterpoint to the march and its 1.5 million participants. Emcee Ross Mathews—the Chelsea Lately commentator whom you may also remember as a particular intern—will guide the audience through a smorgasbord of music, comedy and speechifying by and for the LGBT community.
Harlem Pride 2011 VIP Launch Party and Fundraiser
June 24, 7–11pm; Casa Frela Gallery, 47 W. 119th St., harlempride.org
Harlem Pride opens with a fund-raising reception, for which tickets are $50 in advance and $60 at the door. Michael E. Hodge caters the cocktail party, and recording artist Syl Simone and DJs Mario and Andre Collins spice it up with music. To see your donations at work, head to the vicinity of the Marcus Garvey Park Amphitheatre the following afternoon, where the namesake event will include health education sponsored by the gay-elder group SAGE and a keynote address by State Senator Tom Duane.
Front Runners New York Lesbian and Gay Pride Run
June 25, 9am; West Drive, near Tavern on the Green, Central Park, nyrr.org
The LGBT running club Front Runners partners with New York Road Runners for its 30th Pride Run, a 5-mile race that takes the Central Park lower loop counterclockwise and finishes just north of Mineral Springs. While proceeds go to charity, cash prizes will go to race winners. A post-run raffle is on the program, too, and a trip to Vienna is up for grabs.
Rapture on the River
June 25, 3–11pm; Hudson River Park, Pier 54 (West Side Highway and West 13th Street), nycpride.org
The eighth installment of the Pier 54 women's party has added three hours to its schedule, with activities to match. Mid-afternoon, attendees can purchase two-for-one drinks during happy hour or get tipsy on the witticisms and barbs of performing comedians. At sundown, the beats turn up with DJs Susan Levine and Mary Mac. Advance tickets are $25; at the event, they're $35.
June 26, 11am–7pm; Hudson Street between Abingdon Square and West 14th Street, nycpride.org
The 18th edition of the annual street fair is a trusty mix of vendors, community organizers and entertainers. You also can depend on a healthy crowd at this popular event.
June 26, noon; Fifth Avenue and 36th Street, nycpride.org
Longtime columnist Dan Savage has always peppered "Savage Love" with political commentary, yet his activism blossomed in 2010 after the suicide of 15-year-old Billy Lucas. That's when Savage and his husband, Terry Miller, founded the It Gets Better Project, the online campaign for which numerous high-profile figures have made inspirational videos. Acknowledging that bullying is still a problem, Heritage of Pride dubbed Savage and Miller, along with Reverend Pat Bumgardner, grand marshals of this year's march. The trio will oversee the gargantuan display of individual expression, solidarity and community concern as it wends down Fifth Avenue, from 36th Street to Christopher and Greenwich Streets, over the course of approximately five hours.
Dance on the Pier: Dance 25
June 26, 2–10:30pm; Hudson River Park, Pier 54 (West Side Highway and West 13th Street), nycpride.org
Like Rapture on the River, the famous Dance on the Pier starts earlier than usual, with smile-making DJ Vito Fun opening the marathon. Fun, a beloved local and the resident DJ at Fire Island Pines, is joined by DJ Lina and headliner DJ Ana Paul, who has spun at X-Demente in Rio, Barcelona's Circuit Festival, the Palm Springs White Party and other global bashes. With the decommissioning of Pier 54 on the near horizon and the relocation of the pier dance not yet resolved, every extra minute of Dance 25 should be relished.