The month of June is a time to make yourself aware and to celebrate the impact that LGBTQ+ people have had on our world – and this year may be the biggest celebration of all. In June 1969, the Stonewall riots occurred in New York City and began the path to equal rights for all members of the LGBTQ+ community. While the fight continues on, leaps and bounds were made that night and now each June, places and people come together to celebrate these events and this communities strength.
Ranging from solemn gatherings to carnivalesque parties, pride events are scheduled all over the country, taking on all shapes and sizes. So where are the best places to support or participate in pride events in the US? Whym‘s got you covered…
DC takes pride so early, they kick off Pride month one day early! The Capital Pride runs from May 31st to June 10th. The parades theme is “shhhOUT: Past, Present & Proud” starting at 4:30pm. There will also be a massive concert all day of the 9th, including frequent Pride headliner Todrick Hall. The day after the big Pride Parade, there will be an additional parade with the theme ”Elements of Us,” which will march on June 10 and is hoping to inspire everyone, of every walk of life, to be who they’re meant to be. During these two weeks, take a stand and have some fun with tens of thousands of others!
Boston is a city rife with history, so it makes sense that this town would embrace this important part of modern history! The theme this year was “Looking Back, Loving Forward” and kicked off right in Copley Square on June 8th. The parade kicked off to a whole weekend of events at some of the best gay bars and delicious restaurants in town and all capped off with a huge concert headlined by Todrick Hall.
In the neighborhood of West Hollywood, they’ve been going strong for 40 years. There is will be a bevy activitites, kicking off with the opening ceremony on June 7th with a massive ball & drag show culminating in a Paula Abdul concert, a proper gay icon. Throughout the weekend, there will be a myriad of parties, outdoor festivities, concerts, and drag brunches. The parade will happen on June 9th down Santa Monica boulevard, ending in a massive concert headlined by Meghan Trainor.
In true Cajun Style, there will be a swinging party with thousands of folks gathering in the French Quarter for one raucous weekend, June 7-9. Look for an all inclusive version of Mardi Gras with a dash of Pride, NOLA goes big this weekend. Look for lots of hurricanes, bead throwing, and dancing. Events include a choral concert by New Orleans Gay Mens Chorus, Pride Fest headlined by Big Freedia, a Prince Purple Takeover, and more! The official parade happens on June 8th at 7:30am.
The Capital Pride “Elements of Us” parade will march on June 10 and is hoping to inspire everyone, of every walk of life, to be who they’re meant to be. Take a stand and have some fun with tens of thousands of others in DC for events from June 7-10. Go to capitalpride.org for details. #elementsofus
Stretching from June 14-30, Gay Pride Seattle celebrates for two full weeks. Events begin the 14th of June with fundraisers, events and concerts (one even performed by the infamous Indigo Girls). These weeks culminate in a big parade on June 30th at 11am down 4th Ave leading into PrideFest, a concert featuring 5 stages and 100 performers.
The Mile High City has its own take on how to celebrate pride. It all starts with a 5K on Saturday morning, June 15th. Sunday at 9:30 am the parade kicks off in Chessman Park. Throughout the weekend, you’ll find drag shows, the amazing annual art installation – this year a reflection on the 50th of anniversary of Stonewall, and pop up performances throughout the nights. and the parade on Sunday at 9:30. Todrick Hall continues his headlining of pride here in Denver at Center Stage after a huge, rainbow filled lineup!
Head down south where a gathering of thousands of people party and march June 22-23. This year’s theme is “Summer of ’69” in honor of the riots. Houston’s own version of the Stonewall riots would occur in June of 1977 to protest Anita Brown and kicked off the annual celebration in this big southern city and is in fact the nation’s only nighttime celebration. There will be events throughout the month, but this weekend will include a festival, parade and and parties until 3 am. The big final concerts theme this year is “Artists That Defy Genres & Labels”
After electing their first openly gay mayor, Chi-town is taking Pride very seriously. At a two-day long celebration in Boystown, America’s first officially recognized “gay village,” there will be plenty of dancing, drinking, and partying at a street festival. Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to participate in the parade alone, ready to show their pride! There is also a pet parade, crafters, and drag shows. Events happen June 22-30 with the main parade going up on Broadway and Montrose at noon. The big Chicago concert will take place in the famous Wrigley with a lineup of 27 icons and will be headlined by none other than LeAnn Rimes.
Pride only grows throughout the month, culminating in the two largest celerations of the year, one of which happens in San Francisco. Six grand marshals, multiple award recepients, and the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus, and the motorcycle group Dykes on Bikes will lead a parade and celebration on June 30th in front of more than a million spectators. In addition for the very first time, KPIX will be broadcasting the event live. Throughout the whole weekend, events will be taking place such as an LGBTQ+ film festival, the Trans March, the Pink Triangle memorial, and more all across the city and on the day of the parade, the official Pride Celebration will occur with more than 20 themes and 200 vendors. It is one of the biggest, loudest, and proudest events in the country.
Of course, the best is always saved for last. The city whose riots kicked off the movement and the month long celebration takes this event more seriously than maybe any other in the country. It has always been one of the most popular and well-attended events in the country, but as this year marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising in Manhattan, World Pride will be happening all around New York all month long. 30 days, 50 events, and 3 million people will make up this experience. The main event is of course the Parade, which will happen at noon on June 30. It’s huge, colorful, overwhelming, moving, and we don’t have enough adjectives to describe it properly – you’ll just have to see it for yourself!
Just about every community has some sort of celebration of our LGBTQ+ family, friends and neighbors as we honor the struggle they’ve had and how far they’ve come. Even if you’re staying home this month, be sure to look for local events to support the community and celebrate – and if you are traveling to one of these great cities, don’t miss the chance to be a part of something bigger than yourself. Get out there and be loud and proud!