The LGBTQ community is finally coming out — of the shadows of COVID.
After two years of virtual celebrations, fully-masked demonstrations, socially-distanced commemorations and full-on cancellations, LGBTQ Pride month is here again.
While the pandemic is far from over, a combination of vaccinations, booster shots and CDC-approved antiviral drugs all point to a Pride month, where your biggest fear is what you are missing out on.
So, fear not. Here’s a little guide to get you started.
Ladyland Festival at Avant Gardner, Brooklyn
Ladyland is a Coachella-esque outdoor queer music festival produced by NYC clubland powerhouse Ladyfag — or the “reigning queen of nightlife,” according to Vogue. This colorful celebration of unity and diversity is seen by many as a kick-off to Pride weekend festivities in New York City. This year, the impressive lineup of talent, headlined by superstar DJ Honey Dijon, includes Tinashe, Sevdaliza and “RuPaul’s Drag Race” royalty Vanessa Vanjie. Prices start at $53.51, doors open at 8 p.m, 140 Stewart Ave., Brooklyn
Movies Under the Stars: “Pride” in New York City
Fire up that popcorn machine, pick up some rainbow cookies and head to Greenwich Village for a special showing of the award-winning 2014 film “Pride.” Based on a true story, this feel-good gem features a group of LGBTQ activists who raise money to help families affected by the 1984 miner’s strike in the U.K. Free, movie begins at dusk, James J Walker Park at Hudson St., Manhattan.
Drag Queen Story Hour Milwaukee: Swimming with Pride 2022
The always-fabulous drag queens of the Milwaukee, Wisc., branch of Drag Queen Story Hour are taking their charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent to the pool. According to organizers, the event will feature “local merfolk” reading stories to children and their families. The first 50 children receive a free pool pass, so they can jump in the water after the reading. Free, 2 p.m. 1301 W. Hampton Ave.
Da Bronx Pride Week Festival, the Bronx, N.Y.
“RuPaul’s Drag Race” superstar and Bronx native Kandy Muse and Karen Mercedez, from the Netflix Series “The Circle,” are hosting the borough’s biggest Pride celebration. Hosted by Destination Tomorrow, New York’s only Black trans-led LGBTQ center, this all-day event will feature a march, rally, family entertainment, as well as performances by Seduction, the House of Miyake-Mugler, ballroom icon Sinia Alaia and more. Free, noon-6 p.m., Westchester Ave., between Brook Ave. and Bergen Ave.
LGBTQ Saves Youth Pride Picnic at Trinity Park, Fort Worth, Texas
This free, annual event in North Texas offers a safe space for LGBTQ youth and their families to meet new friends, participate in fun activities, score cool goodie bags, and simply be who they are. Hamburgers and hotdogs will be provided to all participants free of charge. Individual sponsors and volunteers needed. Free, registration required, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. 2401 University Drive, Fort Worth
Chicago Pride Fest
Organizers for this year’s festivities are expecting more than 60,000 Pride enthusiasts from the city and beyond to celebrate LGBTQ life, culture and community. The traditional street festival will feature artists performing on three stages, drag shows, DJs, giveaways, over 150 vendors of arts/crafts, food and drinks and even a pet parade. Performers include “RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars” winner Alaska Thunderf–k, “Pose” star Dyllón Burnside and Chicago-born rapper CupcakKe. Suggested donation $15. Saturday and Sunday, rain or shine, from 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Northalsted on Halsted St. from Addison to Grace St., Chicago, Ill.
OutCycling Pride Ride, New York City
New York City’s most colorful riders are going hybrid for their annual Pride Ride this year. Participants of the OutCycling Pride Ride 2022 will have several options to show their Pride in person — from an easy-breezy 30-mile ride to an intimidating century (100 miles) — as well as by riding their own routes from anywhere in the world. A portion of the proceeds will go toward OutCycling’s Fearless Flyers, a program designed to teach cycling and leadership skills to LGBTQ youth. Visit outcycling.org for information.
Black of Center: Juneteenth Block Festival, New York City
For one of its first in-person Pride events since 2019, The Center is hosting a festival to celebrate Juneteenth, focusing on Black LGBTQ artists, storytellers, businesses and vendors. Doors are open to all for an afternoon of music performances, games, storytelling, art-making workshops, community discussions, and more. Free, noon-5 p.m, 208 W. 13th St., Manhattan
“Sing Out! A Broadway Musical Revue” at the Rose Theater at Jazz at Lincoln Center, New York City
Pride gets the Broadway treatment, via Texas. The Austin Artists Project, a nonprofit that focuses on advancing racial, gender, and sexuality-based equality in the arts, is bringing “Sing Out!” to Lincoln Center to shine a light on underrepresented voices in the LGBTQ community. The show will feature Broadway classics, both old and new, performed by artists with wins or nominations to Grammys, Tonys and GLAAD Awards, all of whom identify as LGBTQ. Young trans activist Kai Shapley, who has been a powerful voice for trans rights since the age of 6, is slated to open the show. Tickets start at $25, 8 p.m. at the Rose Theater. 10 Columbus Circle, Manhattan
Pride Family Picnic, Collingswood, N.J.
The Collingswood Public Library and the Borough of Collingswood, a community that takes pride in its diversity, are joining forces to celebrate the LGBTQ community with an evening of music, fun and creativity for residents of all ages. The event will feature Pride flag-painting, a crafts table, teen poetry open mic, a Drag Queen Story Hour led by Brittany Lynn of Drag Queen Mafia, as well as Pride picnic blanket decorating contest. Participants will be able to connect with local advocacy groups including PFLAG and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Free, 5-8 p.m. Lawn at the Scottish Rite at 315 White Horse Pike, Collingswood
Garden Party at Pier 84, New York City
A beloved Pride tradition is back. After a three-year hiatus, New York City’s LGBTQ community center, the Center, is bringing back its Garden Party to the non-virtual world. One of New York City’s longest-running Pride events, the festive fund-raiser will feature an open bar, delicious food, special guests, as well as A-list entertainment. Performers include Grammy winner Paula Cole, Grammy-nominated singer Sophie B. Hawkins, “RuPaul’s Drag Race” star Gigi Goode and the fierce members of the Haus of Tisci from the second season of HBO Max’s “Legendary.” Tickets start at $85, 6-9 p.m. 12th Ave. at 44th St., Manhattan
Criminal Queerness Festival at the David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center, New York City
National Queer Theater, the official theater partner of NYC Pride, is back for its fourth annual event. The Criminal Queerness Festival celebrates love, resistance and resilience through art by bringing to the New York stage works by queer artists who risk censorship, imprisonment and violence simply for sharing their truth. This year the three-night festival will highlight the work of three East-African writers, and it will kick off with a staged reading of “Courage Rebirth,” the story of a gay 21-year-old Somali woman displaced by political unrest, written by LGBTQ rights advocate Muleme Steven. Free, 7:30 p.m. 61 W. 62nd St., Manhattan.
Drag Queen Story Hour with Citrine, in Silver Spring, Md.
Drag Queen Story Hour is exactly what it sounds like: Fabulous drag queens reading stories and offering kids of all ages the freedom to be who they are — one book at a time. This free event is part of Silver Spring’s Pride in the Plaza’s week-long celebration of Montgomery County’s diverse LGBTQ community, and it’s a collaboration between the Montgomery County chapter of the Drag Queen Story Hour and the Montgomery County Public Libraries. Free, registration required. 11 a.m. 900 Wayne Ave. Silver Spring, Md.
A Tribute to Paradise Garage and Larry Levan with Victor Rosado at Lincoln Center, New York City
The dance floor has always been a safe space for members of the LGBTQ community — from the Saint, to the Palladium, Danceteria, and the Roxy. This Pride, Lincoln Center is paying homage to one of the masterminds behind the culture-shaping Paradise Garage, a SoHo nightclub that shut down in 1987. The music of the late Larry Levan, the club’s longtime DJ, will be remembered by his devotee, DJ Victor Rosado, in a loving tribute to his legacy. Free, 4 p.m., 10 Lincoln Center Plaza, Manhattan.
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Fusion Pride Party, New York City Anti-Violence Project’s annual celebration at the Jane Ballroom, New York City
The New York City Anti-Violence Project, the largest anti-LGBTQ violence organization in the country, was formed in 1980 by community activists in Chelsea in response to a series of brutal attacks against gay men. Today, more than 40 years later, cases of violence against members of the LGBTQ community, especially trans women of color, are still on the rise, making the organization’s job more important than ever. Fusion, the first in-person Pride event since 2019, will feature dancing, drinking and socializing — as well as donations for a good cause. $50, 6-9 p.m. 113 Jane St., Manhattan.
Writing and Living through AIDS at the New York Public Library, New York City
For the past four decades, GMHC, the world’s first HIV/AIDS organization, has worked with fierce determination, passionate activism and generation-defining action to end the epidemic that has killed more than 36 million people around the world. To mark the organization’s 40th anniversary, author and critic Bill Goldstein will moderate a cross-generation panel of writers — including Torrey Peters, author of last year’s groundbreaking and massively successful novel “Detransition, Baby” and Garth Greenwell, the award-winning author of “What Belongs to You” — to reflect on its ongoing legacy in their lives and work. The event will also be live-streamed. 6:30-7:30 p.m. Free, registration required. 42nd St. at Fifth Ave., third floor, Manhattan.
Bath and Body Rooftop Pool Party at The Williamsburg Hotel, Brooklyn
Nightlife goddess Amanda Lepore hosts the third annual pre-Pride pool party extravaganza in Brooklyn. This year, the wet’n’wild fun will feature appearances by “RuPaul’s Drag Race” season 14 fan favorite and lip-sync assassin Jorgeous, a drag performance by Beaujangless, an in-pool performance by Team New York Aquatics and a flash mob performance by viral sensation Bob’s Dance Shop. Music by DJs Horrorchata, Erez and Timo Weilland. Part of the proceeds will benefit the National Black Trans Advocacy Coalition. Tickets start at $30, 6 p.m.-3 a.m. 96 Wythe Ave., Brooklyn.
Check back next week for Week 5.