This June, WorldPride is coming to the United States for the first time ever, and New York City is the host. There couldn’t be a more appropriate city to throw the planet’s biggest celebration of LGBTQ+ rights. An estimated 4 million people from countries across the globe will visit the five boroughs to express their love and desire for equality. Will you be coming? Below are some of the reasons you shouldn’t miss out on this once-in-a-lifetime moment.
Fifty years ago this June, the Stonewall Inn was raided by the police, a routine shutdown on the basis of “lewd and immoral acts.” But something was different that night: LGBTQ patrons fought back, battling the police, protesting in the streets and standing up for their rights. The first NYC Pride March was held a year after Stonewall, beginning a tradition of protest, visibility and bravery that continues with this year’s event—which will also be one for the history books.
WorldPride will be unforgettable, with a thrilling array of events on offer. Come to see the Stonewall 50 exhibit at the New-York Historical Society and the Brooklyn Museum’s survey of art after Stonewall. Celebrate with performances by Grace Jones, Teyana Taylor, Cyndi Lauper, Ciara, Chaka Khan, Jake Shears, Melissa Etheridge and many more. Take part in family events, rallies and demonstrations, and dance the night away at parties all over town. (For a full list of happenings, see our calendar.)
Make yourself visible and lend your voice to the millions around the world demanding equality for marginalized people. While LGBTQ+ implies a focus on those identified by their sexual orientation and gender, know that the rainbow flag, the March and the protests are for anyone who has ever felt like they don’t belong.
Anyone can be an ally. It’s not just straight people—gay men can be allies of trans people, lesbians can be allies of gender-fluid folks and, ultimately, we can all be allies of everyone else. There’s always something you can do: come to the parade, donate to a variety of charitable organizations, dance all night—even wear rainbow socks under your slacks when you go to work.
Pride always presents an opportunity to showcase colorful costumes and promote bold, queer identity. This year, expect to multiply that by millions. So go ahead and break out of your shell—wear that unicorn headdress, those silvery tassels or those glitter heels. This year at WorldPride, the biggest celebration of its kind, find the true you, whoever they may be, and express it. Get out and get loud!
While it’s imperative to remember the significance of Pride—the history, the political implications, those who’ve fought and those who continue to fight—we’d be remiss not to mention just how all-out fun WorldPride NYC will be. There’s the music, the costumes, the crowds, the legends, the photos, the floats, the parties and, of course, the energy of millions converging to celebrate. Expect a carnival of love and protest against the backdrop of New York City.