Pride returns to New York. Check out these events.
Take a look at the New York City Pride Month lineup, and the pandemic clouds that overshadowed Pride 2020 seem to be passing. Thanks to new state rules that relax mask mandates and capacity limits, many events this year can take place not behind a screen but in person. People are wasting no time: many events sold out quickly.
The pandemic is not over, of course. Many businesses and organizations still have Covid protocols in place, and the rules could change at the drop of a hat.
But Pride is regaining some of its sparkle this year. From family afternoons to drag queen nights, here’s a selection of in-person events to help make Pride Month a reason to – finally! – celebrate face to face.
Most NYC Pride events, including the annual Manhattan Walk, will again take place virtually. On Pride Sunday June 27, ABC-7 plans to air performances, interviews and street activities from noon to 3 p.m. on air and on abc7ny.com.
Some events will be open to the public. PrideFest, the annual free street fair, will take place in Greenwich Village; the organizers will announce the exact locations and other details soon. Heritage of Pride, the group behind NYC Pride, is also partnering with local businesses for a series of pop-up outdoor events throughout Manhattan.
The Reclaim Pride Coalition queer liberation march, which organizers tout as a “no cops, no corporations, no politicians” event, also takes place on June 27, starting in Bryant Park and ending with a rally in the West Village. (The group was one of many queer organizations that applauded the recent NYC Pride announcement that uniformed cops, including members of the Gay Officers Action League, could no longer participate in the official march; the decision caused a backlash.)
Other pride events around New York City include Brooklyn Pride (June 12), which turns 25 this year, and Long Island Pride (June 13). In-person events in New Jersey include marches in Atlantic City and Montclair to benefit advocacy group Garden State Equality (June 12) and a Pride Picnic in Maplewood (June 13). Connecticut events include the 34th Connecticut LGBTQ Film Festival in Hartford (through June 13) and a free Pride in the Park event in Ridgefield (June 26).
Bronx Pride has just announced a series of events that will culminate on June 17 with festivities featuring drag performances, comedy and vendors on Barnes Avenue. Queens organizers said they are planning a series of events this summer, including a march in August. Major Staten Island Pride celebrations took place in May, including the opening of the Staten Island Pride Center in its new location in Clifton.
Two new documentaries explore the creative aspects of queer history. Now at the IFC Center is “Ahead of the Curve,” directed by Jen Rainin and Rivkah Beth Medow, which tells the roller coaster story of the brilliant lesbian lifestyle magazine Curve. “Truman & Tennessee: An Intimate Conversation”, which opens June 18 at the Film Forum, weaves words, real and literary, by Truman Capote and Tennessee Williams. The film, directed by Lisa Immordino Vreeland, is voiced by actors Jim Parsons as Capote and Zachary Quinto as Williams.
Juneteenth meets Pride on June 19 and 25 when the Museum of the Moving Image presents “Daughters of the Dust” (1991), Julie Dash’s groundbreaking magical and realistic indie about five Gullah women, including a lesbian character, on an island in the off the South Carolina coast in 1902.
Restart Stages, the new outdoor performance space at Lincoln Center, is teaming up with the National Queer Theater on new plays as part of the Criminal Queerness Festival (June 22-26), which supports international playwrights, many of whom are threatened and censored. . Other performances at Restart Stages include a concert featuring performance artist Taylor Mac and a commissioned performance by poet and activist Staceyann Chin.
On June 10, the Joyce Theater will broadcast a live performance of “Giselle of Loneliness” by Ballez, a dance company that gives classical ballet a weird twist.
Ariana DeBose, Alex Newell and other artists from across Broadway, television and social media will come together on June 17 for “Glimmer of Light,” what Playbill is calling their first live concert celebrating pride. A benefit for the Born This Way Foundation, the show takes place at Radial Park in Halletts Point, Queens, and will air the following week.
Do you miss “Naked Boys Singing”? How about naked boys camping? That’s what happens in “Camp Morning Wood: A Very Naked Musical,” a new queer comedy about a nudist camp and the conservative Christian politician threatening to shut it down. The show features a book and lyrics by Jay Falzone and music by Trent Jeffords, Derrick Byars, Matt Gumley and Jeff Thomson. It takes place at the Asylum Theater in Manhattan, June 4-20.
Fans of the Real Housewives series could have fun with the new musical “The Housewives of Secaucus: What a Drag!”, A new interactive comedy about five very competitive Garden State girls, including Anita Martini and Carla Cavatelli. Written by Anthony J. Wilkinson (“My Big Gay Italian Wedding”), the show is performed on weekends at the Actors Temple Theater in Manhattan.
No more drag queens! Randalls Island Park will host ‘Drive’ N Drag Saves 2021, ‘a superhero-themed outdoor event, June 25-27, with performances from a list of several fan favorites of the RuPaul franchise, including GottMik, Miss Vanjie and Aquariums.
Monica Bauer’s “Made for Each Other”, a romantic comedy about same-sex marriage and aging, will be presented as pop-up shows for audiences of up to 16 people. The venue will be emailed to ticket buyers prior to each performance. It runs until June 24.
On Saturday, the Brooklyn Museum hosts “Still Here, Still Queer,” a free outdoor afternoon of LGBTQ-themed events, including a drag and burlesque performance honoring famous queer and trans people from the Switch collective. n ‘Play based in Brooklyn. There will also be a Brooklyn Pop-Up Market spotlighting LGBTQ artists and vendors.
On display until June 26 at the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art in Soho, “Laura Aguilar: Show and Tell”, the photographer’s first comprehensive retrospective, whose work explores feminist, queer and Latin identities. In her review for The New York Times, Holland Cotter said that Aguilar, “a tall, disabled, working-class Latina lesbian”, presents herself “as a figure shaping a future that is our present.”
Outside the New-York Historical Society is “Safe / Haven: Gay Life in 1950s Cherry Grove,” a free exhibit that shows how the gay and lesbian community flourished in Cherry Grove, a small community on Fire Island, NY, after WWII. The exhibit includes some 70 photographs and other material from the Cherry Grove Archives collection.
The NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project offers a series of self-guided tours of important queer places across New York City. Many tours are grouped by theme, such as lesbian activism and transgender history. The Village Pride Tour includes stops at Christopher Park, opposite the Stonewall Inn, the iconic Julius’ Bar, and the former home of the Sea Colony, a popular lesbian waterhole.