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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.

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Written by
Shaye Weaver
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June is Pride Month, which means the LGBTQ+ community is ready stand up for equal rights and party like never before. 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 2021

Best LGBTQ+ things to do

  • LGBTQ+

After last year's largely virtual affair, this year’s NYC Pride celebration promises to be a mix of both in-person and virtual events. After the rally and the street festival Pride Fest, the Pride March will take place on Sunday, June 27 with rainbow-clad activists and allies taking to the streets in support of global LGBTQ rights. Here's your guide to one of the most epic things to do in the summer in NYC. 

The virtual edition of the Pride Rally will take place at 6 p.m. on June 25 on Heritage of Pride’s Facebook and YouTube channels. The event is free and will be hosted by Hope Giselle and Brandon Wolf.

Open Flame Queer Comedy and dance Party
Photograph: Courtesy Littlefield/© Deb Klein Photo

Open Flame Queer Comedy and dance Party

Open Flame is open-mic comedy meets LGBTQ+ social. On Saturday at 8pm, Get ready for a night featuring regulars of the show and queer comedy icons including Jessica Henderson, Gara, Brian Bahe and Joe Castle Baker. The night's proceeds will benefit FOR THE GWORLS, a Black, trans-led collective that fundraises money to help Black transgender people pay for their rent, gender-affirming surgeries, smaller co-pays for medicines/doctor’s visits, and travel assistance. Tickets to the event, which is at Littlefield (635 Sackett St.), are $8-$10 in person or $5 to livestream.

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Free designs and undercuts by Hairrari
Photograph: Nicie Mok

Free designs and undercuts by Hairrari

Hairrari, a gender-neutral barbershop at The Shops at Hudson Yards is doing a pop-up on Level 2 from now through June 26, at 1-7pm in honor of Pride Month. It'll offer free designs and undercuts as well as 20% off all other services to customers who visit the pop-up. Hairrari barbers are all experts in short hair and some are experts in long hair and color, too. The queer, woman and immigrant-owned business was founded in 2011 by Magda Ryczko and has three NYC locations and one Los Angeles barbershop.

Cheers, Queers! at Superfine
Photograph: Courtesy The Cake Boys

Cheers, Queers! at Superfine

Enjoy an all-drag king showcase hosted by The Cake Boys and Dyke Beer, a NYC drag king collective dedicated to highlighting local drag kings, trans and non-binary performers, and queer artists through live and digital media. The show on Saturday at 7pm will feature Muscles Monty, Myster E. Mel, Oliver Herface, Richard, Senerio, Sweaty Eddie and Uncle Freak. Since forming in 2019, the Cake Boys have produced a variety of shows: the Bachelorex, the Dood Network, Manmosa: the only drag KING brunch in NYC at SingleCut in Astoria, and the Cake Night Show: a fully scripted digital variety show starring local drag performers. Tickets are $25.

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DJ & Drag Meet 'n Greet at Showfields
Photograph: Courtesy Showfields

DJ & Drag Meet 'n Greet at Showfields

Head over to Showfields (11 Bond Street) on Pride Sunday to hang with DJ Hannah Lou (1-5pm) and meet Tina Burner starting at 4pm. While you’re there shop & support the queer-owned small businesses in partnership with Showfields and NYC Pride located on the first floor including brands like Queer Candle Co., Prince Peacock, Playout Apparel and more!

Brooklyn-based eco-friendly footwear brand ILYSM is teaming up with biodegradable glitter company BioGlitz to with a free Glitzing Station at Showfields (11 Bond St.). From June 5th-27th,  BioGlitz x ILYSM will be open to the public noon-7pm daily for shopping, glitzing, events, and free gifts while supplies last, all in celebration of Pride Month. Come get your face or body “glitzed” by a team of professional artists so you can shine bright.

Pride Month at NYPL
Photograph: Courtesy Shutterstock

Pride Month at NYPL

The New York Public Library marking Pride Month with the following online programs:

  • 6/10 | 7 PM: Queer Love in Color: Jamal Jordan with Blair Imani: Photojournalist and former New York Times multimedia journalist Jamal Jordan shares his photographic celebration of the love and relationships of queer people of color in this event presented by LIVE from NYPL.

  • 6/14 | 5:30 PM: TeenLIVE Author Talks: Chella Man and Adam Eli: Authors and activists Chella Man and Adam Eli discuss their books Continuum and The New Queer Consciousness, both published as part of the Pocket Change Collective, a series of small books with big ideas from today's leading activists and artists. 

  • 6/21 | 7 PM: Let the Record Show: Sarah Schulman with Kwame Anthony Appiah: Sarah Schulman, author of Let the Record Show: A Political History of ACT UP New York, 1987–1993, discusses her comprehensive history of the organization and its role in American AIDS activism with writer and philosopher Kwame Anthony Appiah in this event presented by LIVE from NYPL.

Branches across the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island (the boroughs served by The New York Public Library) will host virtual programs myriad for adults, kids, and teens. Information about these events can be found at https://www.nypl.org/events/pride

The Library has created a new list of recommended reads this year celebrating books that speak to the experience of Trans, Nonbinary, and Gender Nonconforming people. The list includes titles for Adults, Teens, and Kids.

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Food Bank For New York City is holding a special Pride Month Virtual Service Hour on June 30, during which volunteers are invited to join us via Zoom to write personal letters to benefit New Yorkers living with HIV in collaboration with our partners at GMHC. June marks the 40th anniversary of the HIV epidemic in the US, so there’s never been a better time to show up and stand up for this community.

Daniel Nardicio, Taylor Shubert and Sam Benedict are back with "Ruflections," a cabaret series starring Ru Paul’s Drag Race contestants that was filmed on Fire Island Pines at its most notorious show house, Reflections at 73 Bay Walk. The series features French chanteuse Nicky Doll from Season 12 in a stripped-down live show called “Covergirl: An intimate night of acoustic covers with Nicky Doll,” which introduces her in a new light—as a cabaret singer, song interpreter and raconteur—backed by Tim Young and band. It airs on Stellar Pride week June 24, 25th and 26th at 8pm.

Jan Sport from Season 12 and now All-Stars season 6 will star in "A Jantastic Birthday Celebration" for her 28th birthday. It'll featuring her powerhouse vocals, backup dancers and surprise guest stars. It'll air on Pride weekend as well June 24-26 directly before Nicky’s show.

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This walking tour-audible exhibition hybrid of curated
queer art is a unique, immersive way of celebrating the queer community in Brooklyn. When you sign up, you'll get a map of the queer-owned and queer-friendly businesses in the neighborhood taking part. When you reach these locations, you scan a QR code in their windows to play the curated queer artist and their audio track (a song, poem, or spoken word). Artists involved include Lily Ali-Oshatz, Lesbian Herstory Archives, Staceyann Chin, Kyle Carrero Lopez, Maia Macdonald, Olaiya Olayimi, Soo Intoit and Julia Weldon. This runs through the whole month of June.

"The First Rainbow" is a web-based, virtual augmented reality experience to honor the birthplace of the Gay Civil Rights Movement and celebrate Pride. Technology companies Flowcode, 8th Wall, and Arlene invite people to head to Christopher Park to see a virtual colorful rainbow and a vintage marker that educates users on the historic nature of the park as the birthplace of Pride. The web-based experience requires no app to download. Visitors simply scan a Flowcode QR code with their phone’s camera on signs placed in Christopher Park or click a link shared to them by friends and/or on social media to engage with the experience, no matter where they are. The activation kicks off at Christopher Park in NYC on Thursday, June 10th and will be shared digitally and on social media throughout Pride Month. You can also view the experience here, and share on social at #FirstRainbowNYC.

 

Best gay clubs and parties in NYC

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