After the notorious Stonewall Riots of June 1969, homosexual men and women in cities across the country came together to organize marches and demonstrations, with many becoming annual events. In short order, the initial spirit of protest and activism was joined by a sense of pride, and annual commemorative gatherings became outright celebrations of the LGBTQ community.Today, capital-p Pride events continue to honor their origins by taking place mostly in the month of June, and crowds in the millions gather to attend in cities as far-flung as Sao Paulo, Madrid and Cologne.
In the New York area, Pride events can be found in nearly every borough and city. We've run down the top five celebrations on tap for summer 2017.
As the birthplace of the gay rights movement, few cities do Pride bigger or better than New York City, and this year's NYC Pride is overflowing with amazing events and activities. Running from Friday, June 23 to Sunday, June 25, PrideIsland is a new three-day spectacular billing itself as "a central hub for the LGBT community to celebrate Pride." Headliners at this musical extravaganza at Hudson River Park's Pier 26 will include Patti LaBelle, Tegan and Sara, and Nelly Furtado. Now in its 24th year, PrideFest, the annual LGBT street festival, will take place on Sunday, June 25 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Headlined by LeAnn Rimes, this year's PrideFest will also feature an array of food stalls, vendors and activities along Hudson Street, between Abingdon Square and West 14th Street.
The largest Pride gathering in the world, and the iconic centerpiece of NYC Pride, is the march. Held on Sunday, June 25 at noon, this year's parade will feature more than 350 groups making their way from 36th Street and Fifth Avenue to the intersection of Christopher and Greenwich Streets. Other NYC Pride events include a family movie night, the female-centric Teaze and Femme Fatale parties, youth Pride and more.
Brooklyn's LGBTQIA Pride events celebrate their 21st year this year with multiple community events — including a flag-raising ceremony, launch party and comedy night — leading up to Pride weekend beginning Saturday, June 10. Starting with a 5K Pride Run in Prospect Park, the weekend also features a multicultural festival, stage entertainment and the Twilight Parade — New York City's only nighttime march.
Celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2017, the Queens Pride Festival will kick off with its annual march along 37th Avenue in Jackson Heights, between 90th and 75th streets, starting at noon on Sunday, June 4. The parade will be followed by a festival featuring entertainment, food, activities and informative booths. In celebration of Queens Pride's significant anniversary this year, a retrospective of the event's 25 years will be on display at the Queens Museum, for one day only, on June 18 from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Harlem Pride began in 2010 as a way to not only celebrate the LGBT community, but to acknowledge that community's rich history and contributions in the diverse, multicultural neighborhood of Harlem. Now in its eighth year, Harlem's Pride events run through the month of June, culminating in the Harlem Pride Celebration Day taking place on Saturday, June 24 between noon and 6 p.m. Held on 12th Avenue between West 135th and 138th streets, the day will include musical performances, food vendors and activities. Harlem Pride kicks off on June 1 with a launch party and Legacy of Pride awards ceremony, and other events during the month include a trans appreciation reception and a screening of the film "Kiki Ballroom."
Pride events aren't limited to the five boroughs, of course. Jersey City will host its weeklong Jersey City LGBT Pride Festival from Friday, Aug. 18 through Saturday, Aug. 26. The week officially kicks off with the JC Takeover Pride Opening Party at 5,000-square-foot Club Transmission on Bay Street, and concludes on Saturday, Aug. 26 with the Pride Festival on Newark Avenue, between Grove Street and Jersey Avenue. In between, attendees can take in a lip sync battle, teen pride events, and a comedy and variety show.