It's Pride Month, which means LGBTQ revelers from around the globe come together for the NYC’s massive Gay Pride Parade. But if you’re looking for LGBT things to do, the march is just the beginning: we’ve assembled the best parties, protests, fund-raisers and performances that you can’t miss at this summer’s celebration. And did we even mention Pride Island, Pride’s own music festival? Pride is about to get lit.
RECOMMENDED: Full coverage of Gay Pride in NYC
Major Gay Pride events in NYC
Beglitter your beard, cram into your platforms, or feel your gender illusion any way that feels right at this annual march from Tompkins Square Park to the Stonewall. This year's joyous, body-positive celebration honors Drag March founder and Rainbow flag creator Gilbert Baker.
Before the glittery spectacle of the Pride March and the rest of the Gay Pride Weekend festivities, gain perspective on the fights that still remain for the global LGBTQ community. 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.
Pride is in the air and what better way to celebrate Pride Week in the city than with a 3-day multi-cultural music experience. Join artists like multi-platinum selling artist Deborah Cox, soul legend Patti LaBelle, Tegan and Sara, Years & Years, and Nelly Furtado and many more as guests dance and party on the pier. The experience serves as a fundraiser to help NYC Pride raise funds to help produce free events throughout the city, such as the new Youth Carnival, Family Movie Night, PrideFest, The March and The Rally.
This annual event to raise awareness about women's and trans rights brings noise, puppets and plenty of body positivity to NYC's streets the day before Pride. 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. March begins at 42nd St and Bryant Park.
Our favorite parade of the year paints Fifth Avenue all the colors of the rainbow. More than 80 floats, 350 marching organizations and thousands of spectators come together for a celebration of love, equality and a whole lot of drag queens. March begins at Fifth Ave and 36th St and proceeds south to the reviewing stand at Fifth Ave and 8th St before turning west on Christopher St to Greenwich St.
You know those street fairs that pop up around the city whenever the weather is nice? The ones everyone pretends to hate, but secretly can't resist walking into? Pridefest is one of those—but with way more sequins. In addition to enjoying the usual street-fair fare—tube socks, hilarious T-shirts, greasy treats—you can pick up information about public health, collect swag from corporate sponsors, and mingle with a crowd full of Pride revelers and shell-shocked Village residents. After things wrap up, you can work off that street food at the Dance on the Pier. Hudson St between Abingdon Sq Park and W 14th St. Subway: A, C, E to 14th St; L to Eighth Ave.
The very funny Bobby Hankinson presides over this stellar monthly storytelling show starring a rotating roster of LGBT comedians and writers. This month features Samantha Ruddy, Rebecca Rush, Desmond Thorne, Danny Artese and Gloria Shantae Butler. Donations will be collected to support non-profit Southerners on New Ground.
Comedian JC Best and Trans personality Dina Marie Martin host a live show of their boundary-breaking podcast Trans Talk. For this special Pride Month edition, they're joined by unimpeachable badass Judy Gold; first openly trans City Council candidate Mel Wymore; Dr. AC Demidont, performer Fran Sisco; comedians Hann Cowger; Tammy Twotone and Jeena; and trans drag diva Zarria Montes.
Vincent Cooper and David Mizzoni welcome a lineup of outrageous comedic minds to bring down the house at this benefit for Callen-Lorde Community Health Center, including the demented Patti Harrison and Pat Regan, Fucking Identical Twins’ Josh Sharp and Aaron Jackson, musical duo Kiko and Tuna, Christi Chiello and sketch troupe Pop Roulette. After the sets, queens Brita Filter and Terra Hyman host the Lady Liberty Wild Card Drag Show, a weekly competition at which amateur NYC queens lip-synch for a grand prize of $4,000.
Britney vs. Christina. Ariana vs. Selena. Each of us must make our choice, and defend it with our lives. Matteo Lane and Christi Chiello invite comics, drag queens and performers to sing, scream, lecture and brawl for their pop goddesses. At this special edition, they invite Sharon Paul and Evan Williams to bring it in an ’N Sync vs. Backstreet Boys showdown, with drag king performances to start the night. Be careful what you say: it doesn't get more personal than this.
What’s even better than seeing one of the campiest films of all time on the big screen? Seeing it at this interactive viewing hosted by the always-hilarious Hedda Lettuce. Cower in fear from Faye Dunaway’s ghoulish face masks and weaponized wire hangers while Hedda weaves in and out of the cinematic action and pianist Rachel Kaufman underscores the camp classic’s more dramatic moments.
Once a month at the IFC Center, the series Queer/Art/Film screens a classic film that’s had a significant impact on LGBTQ artists. But for this year’s Pride festivities, it does a one-eighty and showcases works that may inspire the artists of the future. The organization partners with Wythe Hotel for a weekend of screenings by rising LGBTQ filmmakers. Stop by the hotel for one of the two evenings of feature films or for an afternoon of shorts to dig exciting new pieces from Golden Age of Hustlers director Erin Greenwell and Natalia Leite, the woman behind Tribeca fave Bare.
All of the films in the new “Summer of Resistance” series at IFC Center were chosen by local activists and deal explicitly with social justice themes. For its June outing, catch Deborah Esquenazi’s riveting true crime documentary about four Latina lesbians wrongly convicted of child molestation in 1994. F2L, a group that fights for queer and trans New Yorkers of color being targeted by the criminal justice system, are onhand for a conversation after the screening.
Parties & Nightlife
The creative (and kinky) minds of sexual health awareness collective Impulse Group throw this beastly day party of drinks and debauchery. Serve your most ferocious animal kingdom realness on the dancefloor to jams by DJ Scotty Roxx among tropical plants and nude masked dancers and refuel yourself at the stacked open bar. Happy hunting.
Gain perspective on the struggles and triumphs of the LGBTQ community at some of its most iconic sites on this two-hour tour, including the Stonewall, the Larry Kramer Residence, the Waverly Theater and the Gay Liberation Monument. All proceeds benefit the Stonewall Inn Gives Back Initiative.
As part of their Pride week celebration, Brooklyn Boulders hosts this cheerful climbing party, at which guests can mount the trippy rainbow route while Be Cute's Maddy Beats Horrorchata spins at the DJ booth. Between climbs, you can enjoy dinner from Avocaderia and beer by Long Island City Beer Project.
Turn up your Pride weekend with Time Out New York at our special Thursday night rager, where we'll be celebrating with a few of our favorite things: dancing, drinking, divas and drag that will keep you gagging. And to keep you lit, Bud Light is on hand with unlimited beer. This year, we're partnering with the Ali Forney Center—New York's largest LGBTQ youth shelter. We'll be raffling off two tickets each to Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812 and Miss Saigon! Please bring $2 cash to the event to enter into the raffle!
Dress to impress at this brand-new official NYC Pride party for women, at which you can mix and mingle over cocktails at the swanky Taj Il Lounge in the Flatiron District. The upscale event features the DJ stylings of Mary Mac, who’s opened for Madonna, Susan Levine, who’s spun at big-deal lesbian fest Club Skirts Dinah Shore Weekend. Powerhouse vocalist and “Same Love” singer Mary Lambert is also on hand to deliver an intimate live performance. Splurge for a VIP ticket, and you can up the class quotient with access to an elevated VIP area.
Have a ball (or two) at this Pride-themed night at the midtown Ping-Pong club. SPiN New York joins Gayletter for this debut event that features specialty cocktails, a Vogue dance performance and a cash prize for the most creative “Ping-Pong–inspired” outfit. (Netting counts as pants, right?) Sound like the perfect opportunity to go balls out on your look for the evening. Oh, and don’t forget your paddle.
The merry lads of Britain’s beloved beats bash hit NYC for another night of joyous (and mostly shirtless) funk. Get down to endless thumping beats from DJ Ron Like Hell and the Horse Meat crew at Output, and sneak over to the Panther Room for more simmering bass sounds from Octo Octa and Butched. Within minutes, you’ll be belting your favorite Anita Ward jams with your new dance-floor soul mate.
The always-reliable weekly LGBTQ party takes over a five-deck super yacht for a debauched dance on the Hudson River. Grab a drink from the stacked bar, and move your booty to performances by performers Rica Shay and Miz Jade and DJs M.O., Illexxandra and El Conchitas. After the sail, join the rest of the fleet for a steamy secret after-party. Party begins at 9pm, Sail 10:15pm–2am, after-party 2–4am.
Theatre & Performance
It started as a ceremony of expression for queer outsiders in Harlem's ballroom underground, influenced music, fashion and culture for decades and is now part of a Katy Perry song. Worship the dance, the ceremony and the style of Voguing at this epic daytime ball, at which some of the most gagworthy houses in NYC (including House of Ebony, House of Magnifique and House of Lanvin) will pose, spin and show you how it's done. If it leaves you over, wander around the museum's disco bar and check out "Night Fever: New York Disco 1977-1979, The Bill Bernstein Photographs" for more inspiration.
Fringe theater fest FRIGID New York hosts this annual showcase of subversive comedy and boundary-breaking theater. Experience Una Aya Osato’s rugby comedy, With You! (June 23 at 8pm), LGBTQ storytelling series Queer Memoir (June 24 at 2pm), Dandy Darkly's Myth Mouth (June 27 at 7:30pm) the delightful Philip Markle’s fantastical memoir-musical about online gaming and coming out to a room full of priests, Sparkle Hour! (June 30 at 7:30pm), and much more. Times vary.