This time last year, the LGBT community and its allies were celebrating the long-awaited legalization of gay marriage across the U.S. But this year, Pride Week began on an infinitely different note as we mourned the victims of the country’s worst mass shooting at Orlando’s gay nightclub Pulse.
But Pride has always been about celebrating identity and freedom of expression, and it’s never more important to be seen and heard than when hate tries to take over. So make sure #lovewins by laughing, learning, marching and dancing at the best Pride festivities around the city.
Whether you like your neon on a construction vest or as Jane Fonda-style spandex, this year’s Pride kickoff partyFantasyis all about living the dream in your brightest colors. If the idea of a neon-themed party with live music and the promise of “secret performances” isn’t enough, this year’s venue is the Roaring ‘20s-style Diamond Horseshoe, once home to “Queen of the Night” and now the city’s enviably exclusive subterranean club. 21+, $50-$75, June 24, 10 p.m.-5 a.m., 235 W. 46th St.
This month’s immersive Supercinema party at the McKittrick Hotel welcomes all friends of Dorothy for theEmerald City Ball. The movie is, of course, the “Wizard of Oz,” but there’s plenty more to experience with live performances, decor and cocktails (from an open bar!) themed to the night’s feature. Dress to impress – that means costumes are not optional – for a magical evening benefitting the Equality Florida’s fund for Pulse nightclub victims. $50-$195, June 25, 530 W. 27th St.
Broaden your experience of New York City’s queer entertainment scene at The Peoples Improv Theater’sQueerCom, a three-night comedy festival of LGBTQ comics. Two stages will accommodate ongoing shows across every spectrum of humor, from improv to sketch, drag shows, storytelling, full-length original musicals, panels and more. $40 festival pass, June 24-26, 123 E. 24th St.
It’s calledEverybooty, so shouldn’t you be there? The Brooklyn Academy of Music is turning over all four floors to LGBTQ artists and entertainers with live music, art installations, readings and “general ruckus.” Your ticket includes a one-hour open bar on the roof. $75, June 25, 9 p.m.-3 a.m., 30 Lafayette Ave.
The unmissable centerpiece of Pride will always beThe March, which began as a civil rights demonstration and has evolved into a community celebration. Last year brought over 80 floats, 350 groups and tens of thousands of spectators to the streets from Midtown to Greenwich Village. Wear your rainbow best This year’s parade will be led by the youngest ever Grand Marshal, Jazz Jennings, the 15-year-old advocate for trans young people who has been a voice for the community since age 6. Free, June 26, noon, begins at 36th St. and Fifth Ave. heading south to Christopher and Greenwich sts.
The South Street Seaport’s Watermark bar will stay bumping until 4 a.m. (including food service) forSiren, Girl Pride NYC. DJ Whitney Day and the twin sisters of Nina Sky are headlining the night of high-energy riverside fun, with Daniela Sea of “The L Word” taking a turn as well. A VIP ticket gets you priority entry, private bathrooms and reserved seating. $25-$150, June 25, 9 p.m., Pier 15, 78 South St.
Dance on the Pieris Pride Week’s last (and biggest) outdoor dance party, as well as its most important fundraiser for local LGBT organizations. Fergie will headline the 21+ event on Pier 26, with performances by DJs Ben Baker, Honey Soundsystem, Hoxton Whores and Alain Jackinsky. Pace your party to make sure you’re still standing for the fireworks display at the end of the night. $85, June 26, 2-10 p.m.
The fashion world is a rare mainstream cultural place where unconventional ideas have been welcomed. But do gender, identity and fashion intersect in a way that speaks to the LGBTQ community? Join queer fashion website DapperQ’s Anita Dolce Vita at the Brooklyn Historical Society as she leads a panel discussion calledRedefined and Redesigned: Defying Gender Norms in Fashionwith Rae Tutera of Brooklyn-based men’s/women’s clothier Bindle & Keep, Trans Models founder Peche Di, designer Andre Landeros Michel and more. $10, June 23, 6:30 p.m., 128 Pierrepont St.
NYC has plenty of ways year-round to get into the activist and artistic spirit of Pride. Catch a performance of Cyndi Lauper’s “Kinky Boots,” about how a drag queen named Lola saves a shoe factory with a great idea (a portion of proceeds from Sunday’s show will go to support LGBT communities in Florida), or the Tony Award-winning “Fun Home,” the story of lesbian cartoonist Alison Bechdel’s childhood. The Museum of the City of New York’s current exhibits include “Activist New York,” which traces social activism in the city from the 17th century to the Stonewall Riots through the present day (they’re also having an LGBTQ Family Day on June 25 where kids can make their own activist posters or create a self-love card with theLove Yourself Project.) Or see the work of a living icon of the fashion, culture and art worlds at the Jewish Museum’s sprawling retrospective onIsaac Mizrahi.