The best LGBT events this summer

It’s Pride season! Celebrate this summer with parades, dancing on the pier, top-notch cabaret and more.

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New York City Dyke March

New York City Dyke March

It's time to dust off your rainbow gear and head over to one of the multiple Pride marches and other LGBT festivities happening this summer. There are stacks of events to enjoy all summer long; cabaret fans can soak up the Martha Graham Cracker Cabaret, and for those who just want to boogie down, head out to dance on the pier at pier 26.

Lambda Literary Awards Ceremony

Kate Clinton hosts the "Lammys," honoring the best and brightest in LGBT writing. In addition to awarding writers in a wide variety of categories, this year's edition celebrates renowned memoirists Alison Bechdel and Kate Bornstein.

  1. Cooper Union, Great Hall 7 E 7th St, at Third Ave
  2. Mon Jun 2
More info

Queens Pride Parade

Originally spawned by outrage over the murder of Jackson Heights resident Julio Rivera, the Pride celebration in the most diverse borough has become one of the city's most festive and highly attended LGBT events, drawing more than 40,000 revelers. This year's grand marshals are the LGBT Caucus of the NYC Council, Stonewall Democrats president Melissa Sklarz and members of the Caribbean gay-advocacy group Chutney Pride.

  1. Queens
  2. Until Sun Jun 3
More info

The Martha Graham Cracker Cabaret

Hirsute, Philadelphia-based drag queen (the creation of Pig Iron Theatre Company cofounder Dito van Reigersberg) Martha Graham Cracker and her band return to NYC for more rolicking alt-cabaret shenanigans.

  1. Joe's Pub at the Public Theater 425 Lafayette St, between Astor Pl and E 4th St
  2. Fri Jun 20
More info

Broadway Bares 24

This annual fund-raiser for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS is one of the unofficial kickoffs to Gay Pride Week in NYC, and features more than 150 dancers from the Great White Way stripping down in themed vignettes. This edition, titled "Rock Hard," is all about rock & roll's greatest hits.

  1. Hammerstein Ballroom (at the Manhattan Center) 311 W 34th St, between Eighth and Ninth Aves, 10001
  2. Sun Jun 22
More info

Julie Klausner: Too Gay for Brooklyn

Author and funny lady Julie Klausner, host of the brilliant How Was Your Week? podcast—essential listening for NYC gays…or anyone, really—returns to Joe's Pub with a collection of witty observations and surprisingly well-sung musical numbers.

  1. Joe's Pub at the Public Theater 425 Lafayette St, between Astor Pl and E 4th St
  2. Mon Jun 23 - Fri Jun 27
More info

The Pride Kickoff Rally

Before the glittery spectacle of the LGBT Pride March and the rest of the Gay Pride Weekend festivities, get pumped up…with a glittery spectacle! This official Gay Pride Weekend opening event started as a "gay power" demonstration with 500 protestors in Washington Square Park, a month after the 1969 Stonewall riots, considered the dawn of the modern gay-rights movement. Since then the Rally has jumped locations all over town, including incarnations in Central Park and East River Park. Big-name performers often take the stage—Lady Gaga performed in 2013—while local politicians, comedians, and other members of the LGBT community offer both serious and silly takes on Pride themes. For newcomers and longtime Pride celebrants alike, the Pride Kickoff Rally serves as both a party starter and a reminder that it's not all about partying.

  1. Pier 26 Hudson River, at North Moore St, 10013
  2. Fri Jun 27
More info

New York City Dyke March

This annual event to raise awareness about women's and trans rights isn't exactly the glittery spectacle you'll get at tomorrow's Pride March, but it's still one of Pride Week's most essential events. BYO signs and banners, and keep in mind that the Dyke March doesn't have a permit—it's a protest, not a parade—so be prepared for possible interference from the fuzz. The march itself is open to all dykes and self-identified women. All other supporters are encouraged to cheer from the sidelines.

  1. Bryant Park Sixth Ave, between 40th and 42nd Sts
  2. Sat Jun 28
More info

Dance on the Pier

Heritage of Pride's official Pride Weekend capper is back where it belongs—under the stars, with the skyline glowing to the east and the Hudson shimmering to the west. Coheadlining DJs Grind and Pagano provide big beats sure to keep the huge crowd moving. There's always a variety of live performers—last year, dance diva Deborah Cox and cultural institution Cher took the stage; this year's performers are TBA, and don't rule out a last-minute surprise (Jennifer Lopez and Whitney Houston are among the megastars who have dropped by with no advance fanfare). As the dance starts to wind down, cast your eyes to the sky for a fireworks display; for those who don't have to get up early tomorrow, that's your cue to move on and continue the party all over the city well into the night. You'll have no shortage of options.

  1. Pier 26 Hudson River, at North Moore St, 10013
  2. Sun Jun 29
More info

NYC Pride March

While it's not really offensive to call the NYC Pride March a parade, it's also technically incorrect. The event—which first happened in 1970, marking the one-year anniversary of the Stonewall uprising—is a march for civil rights, not a celebratory parade. But that doesn't mean it isn't fun! Every year, more than a million spectators line Fifth Avenue to take in outlandish costumes, elaborate floats and eye-popping performances. Groups representing the five boroughs and beyond include everything from churches and support groups to social organizations and politicians eager to get out the gay vote. March begins at Fifth Ave and 36th St and proceeds south to the reviewing stand at Fifth Ave and 8th St before turning west down Christopher St to Greenwich St.

  1. Parade route
  2. Sun Jun 29
More info


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