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Pride Month
Photograph: Unsplash/Allie

The best LGBTQ+ things to do in New York

We've got all of our picks of the best parties, events, performances and more LGBTQ+ things to do in NYC.

By Shaye Weaver and Collier Sutter

June is Pride Month, which means the LGBTQ+ community is ready to party and stand up for equal rights. Things are different this year, but if you’re looking for LGBTQ+ things to do, we have your back — we’ve assembled the best parties, performances and events that'll have you dancing, singing, learning and feeling heard.

RECOMMENDED: Pride Worldwide 2020

Best LGBTQ+ things to do

Photograph: Lia Clay

Bike and party with Bushwig

News City Life

Bushwig, one of Brooklyn's biggest drag events, won't let the pandemic spoil its annual celebrations. This year, the street will be the stage.  The Pride weekend extravaganza is taking off on two wheels with a mass bike ride through Brooklyn, starting at Maria Hernandez Park in Bushwick on Friday, June 26. Queer folx, queens, kings and everyone in between can head to the Bushwick-based park at 5:30pm to bike in solidarity with Black Lives Matter. Queen Merrie Cherry leads the pack in a rainbow-painted convertible with speakers blaring tunes out the back. Attendees are encouraged to wear wigs.  The party doesn’t stop there, either. Bushwig organizers have also teamed up with Merrie Cherry and a local Black Lives Matter group to host a festive dance party in Greenpoint’s McCarren Park at the end of the bike ride. Since George Floyd's brutal death at the hands of police, Merrie Cherry has helped orchestrate and lead hundreds of New Yorkers in nightly Black Lives Matter vigils at the park, protesting against racial inequality and police brutality.  The dance party will raise money for Gays & Lesbians Living In A Transgender Society (G.L.I.T.S), a grassroots organization that focuses on providing housing to black trans women right here in New York City and internationally.

Elsewhere rooftop
Photographer: Luis Nieto Dickens

Elsewhere’s rooftop is reopening this weekend with limited capacity

News City Life

While the venue can't carry out its usual rooftop series for a physical audience this summer, it announced it is hosting a series of sunset livestreams from their rooftop space, called "Sunstreams," every Friday from 7 to 10pm. The weekly series is built around raising funds for racial justice community resource organizations and to give a platform for POC artists. For Pride Weekend, Elsewhere's livestream will welcome DisCakes and SKORT, whose parties usually celebrate the queer and intersectional roots of electronic music. The Sunstream will benefit the Emergency Release Fund, a mutual aid network to help LGBTQ+ individuals of Riker's Island and ICE detention. 

Elsewhere has pledged to contribute $500 to the chosen charity, and both the venue and Red Bull are additionally double matching audience donations.

Kim Petras
Photograph: Bryon Spencer

HBO Digital Pride with Papi Juice, Kim Petras & Janelle Monáe

For more colorful events to support pride, this star-studded Digital extravaganza put on by HBO on the Human By Orientation site is where it is at. On Friday at 7pm you can catch tunes from beloved NYC DJ Papi Juice to celebrate the lives of queer and trans people of color. Saturday welcomes an hour-long performance from pop artist Kim Petras slowing things down in an acoustic musical performance. Sunday at 8:30pm ET you can catch an intimate concert with headliner Janelle Monáe.

Marie's Crisis
Photograph: Time Out/Ali Garber

Marie's Crisis' nightly virtual piano bar

News Theater & Performance

The show tunes are going on at Marie's Crisis. And everyone at home can sing along. The coronavirus crisis has forced the beloved West Village piano bar to close its doors for now. But in a typical display of communal spirit, the Marie's Crisis staff is soldiering on. Every night on the Facebook page Maries Group, the talented pianists who would normally be playing at the bar will be live-streaming their sets to audiences at home. All you need to do to be part of the nightly festivities is apply to join the group; it is normally closed, but is currently accepting all applicants.  Marie's has been a New York institution for as long as anyone can remember. It doesn't look like much: a small, crowded basement on Grove Street, with colored lights strung from the ceiling and portraits of Broadway's greatest divas on the walls. But the place has bona fide history. (Revolutionary War pamphleteer Thomas Paine once lived in the building!) One of the city's rare remaining refuges for group singing of show tunes around a piano, it is a second home to some of New York's most fervent musical-theater devotees. It's a parallel-universe Cheers, where everybody knows not only your name but also the complete score to Little Shop of Horrors. In the virtual version of Marie's, the pianists' shifts are earlier than they would be under normal circumstances. The first shifts run from roughly 4pm to 7pm on weekdays; the second shifts go from about 7pm to 9:30pm.

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