There’s never a shortage of LGBT things to do in New York, whether you’re looking for talks, film screenings, drag show or world-class gay bars and gay clubs in NYC. And the city’s queer scene isn’t confined to the established gayborhoods in Manhattan either. Nowadays, you’ll find LGBT events throughout the boroughs every night of the week. With so much to choose from, there’s no excuse not to get out there and have a gay old time.
Best LGBT things to do
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), Philip Markle’s delightful Sparkle Hour! (June 30 at 7:30pm)—a fantastical memoir-musical about online gaming and coming out to a room full of priests—and much more. Times vary.
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.
During the 1970s, one of New York’s many gay golden ages, photographer Tom Bianchi captured love, sex and freedom among gay men in the paradise retreat of Fire Island. This show exhibits Bianchi’s white-hot Polaroids from his new printed collection.
Anja Keister and Lee Valone host this mad monthly night of gender-bending, kink and geek ecstasy at Talon. Witness inventive drag from Valone and JJ Sparks and gagworthy burlesque from Ms. Suki E, Trinity Starlight and Qualms Galore. As if the performances weren't enough, the wild night includes a demonstration in shibari—Japanese bondage—followed by drunk geek trivia.
Outrageous female drag collective LadyQueen gathers its best performers to celebrate the birthday of supreme diva and founder Crimson Kitty. Witness high-drama performances by Cream Victoria, Pierretta Viktori, Krymson Scholar, Sugar Magnolia, Catrina LoveLace, Daniel R. Graney, Zalika Parsons, Wo Chan and recent LadyQueen inductee Marie Selavy.
Nobody saw it coming, but it's basically official at this point: The Babadook is this year's Pride mascot. Jennifer Kent's gripping horror movie about a single mother facing grief in the form of a campy, hat-wearing ghoul has taken off as a metaphor for queer abjection, with memes and costumed phantasms proliferating throughout the summer. Join this adoring screening of the Aussie horror flick, at which you'll play inventive drinking games and get to compete in a Babadook costume contest. Better work on those creepy jazz hands.
The Met Breuer invites queer and politically conscious artists and performers to share work every weekend this summer. This Friday features strapping cabaret marvel Kim David Smith, spoken-wordsmith Emtithal Mahmoud and avant-garde rocker Shilpa Ray. Saturday’s bill includes TV on the Radio’s Kyp Malone, violinist Mazz Swift and others.
Dance to Britney Spears, Janet Jackson and other favorites at this always-reliable bash from some of the queens of the boundary-breaking Bushwig festival. Gag to performances from Horrorchata, Amber Valentine, Mocha Lite, West Dakota, Lady Quesa’Dilla, Charlene, Merrie Cherry and other borough drag legends.
Queer, trans and POC country musicians gather to riff, perform and build community at this daylong festival. While jamming to songs by My Gay Banjo, Cactus Rose, Karen & the Sorrows and many more, you can also enjoy food-truck bites and bake-sale goodies, with all of the day’s profits benefiting the Trans Justice Funding Project.