Pride Week 2010, From Gay to Z


by David Sokol, 06/16/2010

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When Chris Frederick was 17, he and his mother visited New York City from suburban Ohio. Although they made the journey shortly after Frederick came out, neither he nor his mother had a clue that the trip coincided perfectly with Pride Week. Both were overwhelmed. "It was her first experience being among so many gay people, and she was taken aback that they came together to rally for equality," Frederick recalls. As for himself, "It finally felt like I was at home."

Ten years later, Frederick is the recently minted managing director of Heritage of Pride, the not-for-profit that has been overseeing official Pride Week events since 1984. "The gay community as a whole is the singular reason I moved here, so I think it's fate that I've gone from standing on the sidelines to being at the center of the action."

The Pride Week 2010 activities will be slightly retooled from previous years but promise to be no less exciting than before. Because of City budget restrictions, the march has been shortened, now beginning at Fifth Avenue and 36th Street at noon on June 27—but it still passes the site of the Stonewall Riots, whose 41st anniversary is being celebrated this year. The Rally, meanwhile, kicks off Pride Week on June 19, and it, too, shifts geographically. Previously held at Bryant Park and attended by hundreds, this year the Rally moves to Central Park SummerStage; correspondingly, the event will sport more of an entertainment focus next to its political message, and turnout is expected to jump by a multiplier.

Heritage of Pride is spearheading other changes. For example, the group will take over Puma City—the sportswear maker's traveling venue constructed of stylishly recycled shipping containers, which is currently docked at the South Street Seaport—on June 24. Hosting a weeknight event is an unusual move for the organization, but Frederick says to expect additional happenings in coming years. You can stay apprised of this and further transformations on Heritage of Pride's revamped website,

In addition to Heritage of Pride's work, Pride Week encompasses myriad parties, rallies and other occasions. Whatever gathering you attend in this constellation of events, you will witness a tremendous convergence of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) New Yorkers and visitors. It's an outpouring of support that will continue impressing parents, welcoming newly out gay men and women and even inspiring some of us to lead the LGBT community. Here are brief rundowns of some of the most exciting activities of the week.

The Rally
June 19, 4–8pm
Rumsey Playfield, Central Park, Fifth Avenue and East 72nd Street

Activists staged the first Rally in 1969 as a candlelight vigil commemorating the one-month anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. Now, after more than a decade of residency at Bryant Park, the 2010 Rally will take place at SummerStage, in Central Park's Rumsey Playfield. The Rally may be free, but its program is priceless, with great music by hit makers Ari Gold, Billie Myers, Meshell Ndegeocello and Martha Wash, plus rousing speeches by Lt. Dan Choi and Kevin Frost, chief executive officer of amfAR since March 2007. Comedians Vickie Shaw and Bruce Vilanch emcee.

Leather Pride Night 2010
June 19, 6pm
Splash, 50 W. 17th St.

Leather, fetish and S&M enthusiasts don their most festive gear to mingle at this annual event. Its highlight is the Leather Pride Night Auction, a charity auction that has raised money for regional organizations supporting community needs and civil rights since 1982. Bidding begins at 7pm.

Garden Party 27
June 21, 6–10pm
Pier 54, Hudson River Park, West Side Highway and West 13th Street

Pride Week gets off to a delicious start with the 27th-annual Garden Party. The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center's foodie festival is loaded with representatives from New York restaurants and food purveyors, including standouts Esca, Klee Brasserie and Murray's Cheese.

Spirit of Pride
June 21, 7:30–9pm
The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, 1047 Amsterdam Ave.

The church celebrates Pride Week with a free evening of theater and advocacy: Bobby Steggert, Brian Childers, Jeremy Lawrence, MilDred Gerestant and Donnetta Lavinia Grays will perform this year, followed by a panel discussion surveying gay theater.

June 23, 6–9pm
The Stonewall Inn, 53 Christopher St.

DJ Randy Bettis spins the annual Pride Week benefit for the New York City Anti-Violence Project. A $50 ticket ($30 for attendees 30 or younger, and $75 at the door) covers access to snacks and an open bar, plus a contribution to a worthy cause.

NYC Pride Kick Off Celebration
June 23, 8–10pm
Gramercy Theatre, 127 E. 23rd St.

Organizer Spin Cycle convenes Pandora Boxx, from the cast of cable-TV channel Logo's new show RuPaul's Drag U; DJ Keo Nozari; and free samples from Barefoot Wine to benefit Heritage of Pride—and boost you over the Pride Week hump. RSVP at

Shop Your Pride
June 24, 6pm
Puma City NY, 210 Front St.

Heritage of Pride takes over Puma City, the 11,000-square-foot traveling venue designed by avant-garde New York architecture firm LOT-EK and built from 24 shipping containers. Pride Week celebrants can browse the sportswear maker's Pride March–friendly sneakers and other merchandise while soaking up the hip music and camaraderie in South Street Seaport. Ten percent of sales support NYC Pride.

Pride Shabbat
June 25, 7pm
Congregation Beth Simchat Torah (CBST) Chelsea Sanctuary, 296 Ninth Ave.

CBST, at the heart of New York's gay Jewish community, welcomes Senator Kirsten Gillibrand to the lectern this year. The politician's discussion of LGBT rights and "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" will accompany the always-uplifting Shabbat service that occurs at CBST every Friday evening.

Front Runners New York Lesbian and Gay Pride Run
June 26, 9am
West Drive, near Tavern on the Green, Central Park West and West 67th Street

The LGBT-friendly athletic group Front Runners is partnering with the New York Road Runners to produce its 29th Pride Run. The 5-mile race, which takes place in Central Park, offers prize money to the top male and female finishers, while all other proceeds go to SAGE (Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders).

Rapture on the River: A Women's Dance
June 26, 6–11pm
Pier 54, Hudson River Park, West Side Highway and West 13th Street

The seventh-annual women's party takes over Pier 54. The renowned Susan Morabito spins for the event, so expect to dance to the DJ's signature mix of house and tribal beats. Revelers can purchase tickets in advance for $25 or at the door for $35. A $45 premium VIP Combo ticket provides admission to the official Rapture after-party, Pier Pressure 11.

The Marches
Every borough hosts a Pride March, starting as early as June 5 on Staten Island. The abundance of participation ensures not only that there's something to do each weekend in June but also that Pride Week's message of equality and tolerance reverberates throughout New York City. Except for the Bronx event (its Pride parade is tentatively scheduled for August 14), the other boroughs' Pride marches take place before the Heritage of Pride–run march in Manhattan. They're also part of daylong celebrations that include multicultural and family events as well as performances. As for the main event, it begins at Fifth Avenue and 36th Street at noon on June 27; this year's grand marshals are headline makers Lt. Dan Choi, Constance McMillen and Judy Shepard, and organizers expect a turnout of 1.5 million.;;;;

June 27, 11am–7pm
Hudson Street between Abingdon Square and West 14th Street

A new addition to the annual PrideFest street fair is PetPride. Sponsored by PETCO, this competition will anoint the cutest pet wearing a Pride outfit. Project Runway hero Jack Mackenroth and columnist Michael Musto are the celebrity judges.

Dance on the Pier: Dance 24
June 27, 4–10:30pm
Pier 54, Hudson River Park, West Side Highway and West 13th Street

The famously throbbing Dance on the Pier once again caps the Pride March. The music, though, will have a more international focus this year, thanks to British DJs Russell Small and James Whiltshire, better known as Freemasons. Gay dating website has imported the duo, who are known for playing a lot of vocals, Small explains, adding that the gig is an "immense honor for us." He notes, "Also, we're in the unique position of being able to play a great deal of our set using tracks we've made, remixed and edited—that's such a joy, and makes the endless hours in studios pulling out what's left of James' hair worthwhile." Freemasons plans to reveal some new tracks, including a new single featuring New York–based singer Wynter Gordon. Meanwhile, expect a surprise live performance that night: within a month of the pier dance, even Heritage of Pride's top brass had not yet finalized this star's appearance. DJ Steven Oliveri opens the event, and a spectacular fireworks show will conclude the night. Tickets are $75 in advance and $100 the day of the event.

Sea Tea Gay Pride Cruise and Latin Pride Cruise
June 27, 6pm
Pier 40, West Side Highway and Houston Street

A Sea Tea cruise sets sail every Sunday during summertime, but the company will launch two ships to honor Pride March. Partygoers will get an up-close viewing of the Dance on the Pier's fireworks display from Queen of Hearts, which hosts the Gay Pride Cruise, or from the Latin Pride Cruise's vessel Star of Palm Beach. The Latin Pride Cruise is sold out, but tickets are still available for the Queen of Hearts (they're $30 in advance, and $35 if purchased at the pier). DJs Robbie Leslie and Eddy Cruz, respectively, play the parties, which include a free buffet dinner.

Pride Goes East
May 22–June 27
Fourth Arts Block
Lower East Side Business Improvement District

The Lower East Side's monthlong celebration of all things gay includes theater performances staged at Dixon Place, La MaMa, Performance Space 122 and other Fourth Arts Block–affiliated venues; there's also a Pride Week shop-athon, featuring discounts and specials at neighborhood boutiques and restaurants—all to support fund-raising for the Hetrick-Martin Institute, home of the Harvey Milk High School.

The Second Great LGBT Photo Show
June 16–July 10
Leslie/Lohman Gallery, Leslie/Lohman Gay Art Foundation, 26 Wooster St.
The Second Great LGBT Photo Show
includes erotic, political, documentary and romantic works by nearly 90 LGBT artists, and this year's photos will emphasize group portraits and settings. The exhibition is one of Leslie/Lohman Gay Art Foundation's most popular undertakings.


related venues/(8)

  1. 1
    50 W 17th St
    Manhattan – Flatiron District
    NY 10011
  2. 2
  3. 3
    Pier 54
    Eleventh Ave
    Manhattan – Chelsea
    NY 10014
  1. 4
    The Stonewall Inn
    53 Christopher St
    Manhattan – West Village
    NY 10014
  2. 5
    The Leslie–Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art
    26 Wooster St.
    Manhattan – SoHo
    NY 10013
  3. 6
    Central Park's Rumsey Playfield
    Enter Central Park at Fifth Avenue & 69th Street
    Manhattan – Central Park
  1. 7
    South Street Seaport
    Pier 17, Fulton and Front Streets
    Manhattan – Financial District
    NY 10038
  2. 8
    Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine
    1047 Amsterdam Ave.
    Manhattan – Morningside Heights
    NY 10025

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