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Rainbow Roadmap: What to do, where to be, when to go to celebrate Pride Month 2021 across the country

New York Daily News logo New York Daily News 6/21/2021 Muri Assunção

It’s raining events, hallelujah!

What a rollercoaster ride it has been for members of the LGBTQ community and their fabulous friends. While Pride Month in 2019 was marked by an explosion of over-the-top events celebrating 50 years of the Stonewall Riots, 2020 will forever be remembered as the year when most protests/parties/parades had to be rerouted to the virtual universe. Or simply canceled.

Thankfully, a new era has begun. With COVID-19 rates going down, and more than 300 million doses of vaccines administered in the U.S., Pride events are here again.

a large crowd of people: Participants take part in the NYC Pride March as part of World Pride commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising on June 30, 2019 in New York City. © ANGELA WEISS Participants take part in the NYC Pride March as part of World Pride commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising on June 30, 2019 in New York City.

Participants take part in the NYC Pride March as part of World Pride commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising on June 30, 2019 in New York City. (ANGELA WEISS/)

And while we’re not exactly partying like it’s 2019 just yet (some events are offered virtually, some require proof of vaccination, some require social distancing) this year’s biggest issue will likely be deciding what to do to celebrate Pride.

Here’s a little guide to help you navigate, proudly, through queerverse.

Monday, June 21

NYC Pride’s Human Rights Conference, virtual

This three-day virtual event, a “symposium of transformative changemakers in the queer community” will bring together creators, historians, influencers, artists, and storytellers to explore the many intersections of the LBGTQIA+ community’s continued fight for equity and justice.

This year the conference is featuring a series of interactive Masterclasses, where experts in activism, queer history, fashion and culture will share their knowledge with attendants through live seminars to be held on June 21, 22 and 23.

Following the masterclasses, participants will move to the conference’s Mainstage for panels on topics affecting the queer community — including queer BIPOC collective power, activism in nightlife, political representation, mental health, and wellness.

Tickets can be purchased here.

Pride Publics: Words and Actions, Los Angeles, Calif.

This multi-site outdoor exhibition curated by Rubén Esparza aims to give visibility to LGBTQ life in the public through the lens of history, community, and activism.

With 28 large-scale posters installed as wheatepaste in a public site, this exhibition stages a visual dialogue between historical and contemporary changemakers, asking questions central to queer public life such as: Who have been the LGBTQ movement leaders and trailblazers? What have they said? What have they done to advance the wellbeing of the LGBTQ community? What key moments of change have contributed to the public health, safety, education, rights, identity, and social belonging of queer life?

The free installations will be on view in West Hollywood until July 1, and then in Los Angeles County in October. More information here.

Tuesday, June 22

Visions of Pride: Paris is Still Burning, New York City

Get ready to gag on the eleganza, children! The Center, New York City’s LGBTQ community center, is going to give you life! with a new photo exhibition celebrating ballroom culture in all its underground glory and glamour.

“Visions of Pride: Paris is Still Burning,” a photo exhibition showcasing the grandeur of the city’s ballroom community and the stories of its members, will be on display at the High Line from June 22 to July 11.

Through the lenses of photographers Anja Matthes, Damien Armstrong, and William Isaac Lockhart, “Visions of Pride” will provide an opportunity for the public to learn about the multifaceted nature of the ballroom community, from its iconic fashion to its activism and chosen family bonds.

“Visions of Pride: Paris is Still Burning” will be on view on the High Line at 14th Street from June 22-July 11, 2021.

Criminal Queerness Festival, New York City

Produced by the National Queer Theater in partnership with Open Culture NYC, The Center, and the Stonewall Community Foundation, The Criminal Queerness Festival presents innovative new plays by LGBTQ artists from countries that criminalize queer and trans people and aims to uplift the careers of these artists and raise awareness about criminalization around the world.

This year, the festival will take place on June 22-26 on Hearst Stage at Lincoln Center, and near the United Nations in Manhattan (the exact address will be shared with ticket holders to prevent crowding.)

It will feature work centering on the lives of LGBTQ individuals in Lebanon, Mexico and Iraq.

Tickets for performances near the UN can be purchased here. Tickets for the Lincoln Center performances are only available via TodayTix Lottery.

Wednesday, June 23

Black Pride at The Center: Healing, Building, Thriving, New York City

The Center’s RiseOut Advocacy Council is celebrating BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color) members of the LGBTQ community, with a virtual, two-day Pride event.

Activists, artists, and body and mind experts will lead panels and workshops on public health, personal restoration, how to build wealth in the post-pandemic world, and even a speed-friending session

You can register for this free event here. More information about the workshops here.

Pride Lights, New York City

Rainbow lights will illuminate New York City’s skyline on Wednesday and Thursday near the Stonewall Inn — where a series of violent riots 52 years ago ushered in a new chapter in the fight for LGBTQ equality.

Presented by Kind Snacks, the second annual festive rainbow light display will brighten up the sky above Manhattan’s Greenwich Village from sunset (approximately 9:30 p.m.) until midnight.

The event will be live-streamed on both days, and people from across the country are invited to participate by texting “Pride” to 1-833-623-KIND.

For every text message received, Kind will donate $1 to its long-standing Pride partner, the Ali Forney Center, the nation’s largest non-profit organization aiding homeless LGTBQ+ youth, with a maximum donation of $10,000, in addition to a $50,000 donation being made by the company to aid the Center’s healthcare and shelter services.

Replay Video

Thursday, June 24

Protect Black Trans Women Rally 2021

The New York Transgender Advocacy Group, a trans-led organization that advocates for more inclusive gender-based policies to benefit trans and gender non-conforming/non-binary individuals, is inviting allies to protest against the silence from elected officials, community members, and faith-based organizations in regards to violence that Black trans women continue to face in New York City and beyond.

The event is being organized in collaboration with six other Black trans women-led organizations: Reuniting of African Descendants (R.O.A.D.), The Audre Lorde Project, Bridges4Life, The Brooklyn Ghost Project, Community Kinship Life and the H.A.F. Project.

Participants are being asked to wear a face mask. The rally is scheduled to start at 3 p.m. in Harlem. Free tickets can be reserved here.

Pride Celebration with Julie Mehretu at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York City

The Whitney is celebrating Pride in collaboration with the artist Julie Mehretu, whose critically acclaimed mid-career survey is currently on view in the museum’s fifth floor.

Named one of the most influential people of 2020 by Time, Mehretu is an Ehtiopia-born artist known for her massive multi-layered paintings of abstracted landscapes.

On Thursday, from 7 to 9:30 p.m. the museum is offering a free after-hours event featuring an evening of music by DJ REBORN and refreshments on the Museum’s fifth floor terrace. Mehretu’s show will be open for viewing.

Guests will need to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test within 72 hours of the event. Reservations are required for this free, adults only, celebration.

Friday, June 25

OKC Alliance Pride Festival, Oklahoma City, Okla.

The inaugural downtown OKC Pride Alliance Festival will be take place at Scissortail Park, the city’s newest urban park just south of downtown, from Friday to Sunday.

This historic three-day event will bring music, film and art to the local LGBTQ community in a way the state has never seen before.

Singer-songwriter — and YouTube sensation — Greyson Chance will headline the Friday kick-off.

For the first time, the OKC Pride Alliance is coordinating with Pulsa Pride, and both cities will mark the date on the same day. The OKC Pride Alliance Parade starts on Saturday at 10 a.m. downtown Oklahoma City. At 6.p.m. the Tulsa Pride Parade will depart from the Art Deco/East Village in downtown Tulsa.

More information here.

Saturday, June 26

The Mobile Drag Performance Unit, Brooklyn, New York

The Mobile Drag Performance Unit (MDPU) is a 12-foot trailer converted into a stage that will be sashaying through the streets of Brooklyn bringing the art of drag to audiences of all ages.

Presented by FagSigns, a Brooklyn-based neon signage company that proudly serves the LGBTQ community, the MDPU was created to reignite the city’s nightlife by highlighting the fabulous world of drag performers, who were heavily impacted by the pandemic restrictions.

The free pop-up performances are coming to Albee Square in Downtown Brooklyn at 2 p.m., at the Walt Whitman Library/Stonewall Houses in Fort Greene at 4 p.m., and on Dock Street in Dumbo, at 7 p.m.

“Mobile Drag Performance Unit, thanks to the support of the Downtown Brooklyn + Dumbo Art Fund’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative, is a colorful and bright way to celebrate Pride, the re-emergence of New York, and bring the community back together again after a year of isolation,” explained FagSigns GEO (Gay Executive Officer) Matthew Day Perez.

NYC Pride Run, New York City

Celebrate pride, share the LGBTQ+ love, and get ready to werk in the 40th Front Runners New York LGBT Pride Run 6K on Saturday at 7 a.m. in Central Park.

The first Pride Run was a landmark race and marked the start of an enduring collaboration among Front Runners New York, New York Road Runners, and the City of New York. Today, the race continues to celebrate LGBTQIA+ Pride and the ongoing movement toward equality, diversity, and inclusiveness.

Over the past eight years, Front Runners New York has awarded more than $150,000 to a variety of LGBTQ-related, New York-based organizations as the beneficiary of its annual Pride Run.

A virtual 5K will ensure that the run is accessible to all. More information here.

Pride in the Park, Chicago, Ill.

Pride is back with a vengeance in the Windy City.

An impressive lineup of performers (Tiesto! Chaka Khan! Gryffin!) are coming to Grant Park, just north of Buckingham Fountain, to help Chicago’s LGBTQ community celebrate Pride weekend after a COVID-induced hiatus.

Two days of rainbow-powered fun will include music, performances, art, food, drag queen realness, and even the awards ceremony for Pride Bowl XIII.

For the full lineup of performers, tickets and more information, visit Pride in the Park.

All guests are asked to provide proof of either full vaccination status or negative COVID-19 test result within 72 hours of the event.

Seattle Pride Virtual LGBTQIA+ Pride Celebration, virtual

Two full days of fun, A-list guests, and open to anyone with an internet connection — that’s how Emerald City is celebrating Pride this year.

Seattle Pride Virtual LGBTQIA+ Pride Celebration will feature a diverse array of speakers, performers, activities, and activism reflecting this year’s theme, Resilience.

The impressive list of guests includes the queen of bounce music, Big Freedia, and chart-topper Mary Lambert.

The online festival will also feature interactive community-led sessions where attendees can join virtual rooms, on or off camera, to share knowledge, play games, show off their pets, or just decompress. One-on-one randomized video chats will also be available for attendees to make new friends.

Interactive virtual booths will allow guests to hear from elected officials and political candidates, check out other LGBTQIA+-supporting businesses, and learn more about what other nonprofit and community organizations are doing to further LGBTQIA+ rights in the community.

More information here.

Sunday, June 27

PrideFest, New York City

After a COVID-induced hiatus, Pride NYC’s annual street fair is back.

PrideFest will once again bring LGBTQ friends and allies together for a day of fun and celebration in the name of equality.

The festive, fabulous and free all-day event in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village attracts thousands each year, bringing together out-of-state visitors, local residents, community leaders, as well as area business owners to celebrate the LGBTQ community and to honor those who have made progress possible.

This year, the festival will also offer a virtual version: MarketFest, a virtual vendor directory focused on amplifying LGBTQIA+ small businesses. Launched last year as an alternative to an in-person PrideFest experience, MarketFest will let viewers search for LGBTQ vendors, or discover new small LGBTQ-owned and operated businesses.

COVID safety protocols, including NY State Department of Health guidelines, will be observed.

Queer March, New York City

No corps, no cops, no BS.

The Reclaim Pride Coalition, a group of organizations and individuals fighting to reclaim the legacy of the Stonewall Riots, was formed in 2019 when LGBTQ+ activists and advocates got together to create an alternative celebration of Pride.

They agreed that the city’s Pride march had been overwhelmed by an increasing number of corporate floats turning the celebration into “a new symbol of gay for pay,” and decided to take to the streets to stage a corporation-free protest march.

This year, for its third edition, the Queer Liberation March will revive the goals and spirit of the original Christopher Street Liberation Day March in 1970, born out of the 1969 Stonewall Uprising: social justice, freedom, and access for all.

Marchers are gathering at Bryant Park at 2:30 p.m. Masks are encouraged.

NYC Pride March, virtual

New York City’s world-famous Pride March is back this year, as a mostly virtual celebration.

A broadcast special featuring live performances, on-air interviews, as well as some “to-be-determined in-person elements,” will air on ABC-7 New York from 12-3 p.m. ET on Sunday, as well on ABC7NY.com and streaming platforms, such as Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV and Roku.

All in-person elements will be produced in accordance with the most current guidelines for public events in the city, according to NYC Pride.

Following the broadcast, a virtual experience of the March will begin online across streaming platforms. The virtual program will feature groups and organizations that would typically take to the streets for the annual NYC Pride March. Each segment will highlight one of this year’s five Grand Marshals — including actor Wilson Cruz (Paramount+’s “Star Trek: Discovery”) and Dr. Demetre Daskalakis, the director of the Center for Disease Control’s Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention.

The show will stream on NYC Pride’s Facebook and YouTube pages beginning at 3 p.m.

This list will be updated weekly.

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