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So.Gay’s Official Guide to NYC Pride

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This article was created in partnership with Heritage of Pride, the organization behind the official NYC Pride.

The time has come for gay New Yorkers and allies to take the streets in memory of the LGBTQ+ communities that marched before them: NYC Pride, baby! Millions of visitors will descend upon Manhattan as it becomes a rainbow playground for adult fun, but there’s so much more fulfillment to be found than parties. 

Massage that body glitter, splash a rainbow across your cheek, and select your best look! Then follow So.Gay as we show you the ultimate NYC Pride guide, made possible by Heritage of Pride

Wall of Honor at the Historic Stonewall Inn

Who doesn’t know about the Stonewall Riots? But don’t just let the most famous gay place remain an anecdote – join its history. Co-owner Stacy Lentz told So.Gay that it was important for them to continue preserving and celebrating the legacy of queer leaders, and thus, the Wall of Honor, in partnership with the Imperial Court, was born as an annual ceremony to immortalize the pivotal people carrying the torch of equality. 

This year, it will take place on June 27th, as community members gather to see new inductees added to the Wall of Honor. It’s organized by the National LGBTQ Task Force, a social justice advocacy non-profit focused on grassroots queer movements. 

NYC Pride March: The 40th Anniversary 

What’s Pride without millions marching alongside gay culture’s most iconic celebrities, drag queens, and activists, leading the charge on the queerest floats imaginable? And brace yourself for a sea of shirtless eye candy stretching as far as the sun can reach.

The entire celebratory month all leads to the NYC Pride March on June 30th, with this year’s grand marshalls being DaShawn Usher, Miss Major, Raquel Willis, Michelle Visage, Eshe Ukwell, and Baddie Brooks. 

Co-Chair Kazz Alexander is summoning all New Yorkers to wave the rainbow flag at the parade. “This year, we’re calling all individuals across all identities to action,” he said. “Advocates and allies come and show pride with us; support the Queer community, support one another, and connect to this mission so that we each have equal access to civil liberties and the right to exist. When we are all unified in the spirit of liberation for the most marginalized– we all benefit.”

NYC Youth Pride

Attention all queers aged 13 to 24: NYC Youth Pride is happening on June 29th at the South Street Seaport Museum, Pier 16 & The Seaport, Pier 17. Get ready for all the usual Pride fun, but tailored to be age-appropriate, aka no alcohol! Come meet other vibrant young queers—it’s like a queer festival prom for strangers, without all the hetero factors.

NYC Drag March

Another iconic Pride tradition is the NYC Drag March on June 24th, where all the gays channel their inner drag queen, if only for a day. And don’t worry, your heels won’t turn back into pumpkins by midnight. All participating drag queens assemble at Tompkins Square and unleash a bedazzled storm upon the city, ending the march at the Stonewall Inn. 

Visage might not be on the scene to judge the fiercest queen, but she holds the celebration of Pride dear to her heart, especially now as a grand marshall. “To say I’m honored to be chosen as the Grand Marshal of NYC Pride is an understatement. This is a momentous occasion for me as a Jersey girl who moved to NYC when I was 17 to chase my dreams,” she said. 

Criminal Queerness Festival 

There are so many ways to celebrate gayness, and the queer arts, specifically the Criminal Queerness Festival, is definitely on that list. Experience captivating performances at the Perelman Performing Arts Center (PAC NYC) at the World Trade Center from June 21st to June 29th. Immerse yourself in plays crafted by LGBTQ+ artists from around the globe – often willing to face censorship, imprisonment, and violence. 

Cofounder Adam Odsess-Rubin told So.Gay, “The Criminal Queerness Festival provides a platform for queer artists facing censorship around the world to have their stories shared with a wide audience. We at National Queer Theater are thrilled this year to be part of the inaugural season at PAC NYC with three powerful plays from talented queer playwrights.”

Of course, all the festivities don’t stop here. New York is your inclusive oyster, offering a plethora of activities that could rival even the most abundant grid of torsos.

Visit NYCPride.org to learn more about this year’s NYC Pride programming.

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