50 ways to celebrate Stonewall 50 and Pride Month in NYC

June 3, 2019

Last year’s Pride Parade, via Wiki Commons

Fifty years have passed since the Stonewall Uprising changed New York City forever and gave the world a symbol of the struggle for LGBTQ rights and recognition. There are a seemingly endless number of ways to celebrate this milestone, learn about the history of the gay rights movement and enjoy a rainbow of diversity. Heritage of Pride, the nonprofit organization behind New York City’s official LGBTQIA+ WorldPride events, offers an interactive map to help navigate the many events planned this month. Below, you’ll find 50 ways to celebrate Pride Month.

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Image via Wiki Commons

The main events: marches, festivals, and ceremonies

2019 Pride March
Sunday, June 30

Marking the 50th anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall Uprising, the seminal historic moment in the modern-day LGBTQ rights movement, the annual parade–among the city’s most high-profile events–is expected to draw an estimated 150,000 marchers this year. The big event will emerge from the corner of 26th Street and 5th Avenue near Madison Square Park at noon and head south on 5th Avenue before heading west on 8th Street. After crossing over 6th Avenue, the march will continue onto Christopher Street past the site of the Stonewall National Monument, then turn north on 7th Avenue to pass the New York City AIDS Memorial, dispersing around 23rd Street and 7th Avenue in Chelsea. You can get a closer look at the parade route here.

WorldPride 2019 Opening Ceremony
Wednesday, June 26, 2019, 7-10 P.M.

The official Opening Ceremony of WorldPride Wednesday takes the shape of a benefit concert at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, with proceeds from ticket sales going to three local LGBTQIA+ organizations. Whoopi Goldberg will host a ceremony that will feature Cyndi Lauper, Chaka Khan, Daya, Ciara, Billy Porter and more.

Stonewall 50 commemoration
Friday, June 28, 6 – 9 P.M.

This commemoration of the Stonewall Uprising will bring community activists, organizers, politicians, and more to a free rally at Christopher Street and Waverly Place along with stage performances and rousing speeches.

Sunday, June 30, 2019, 11 A.M. – 6 P.M.

The celebration hits the streets at this annual LGBTQIA+ free street festival happening between Union Square and Astor Place.

NYC Dyke March
June 29th at 5 P.M., Bryant Park

For the annual March, a protest that is free of permits or sponsors, “Thousands of Dykes take the streets each year in celebration of our beautiful and diverse Dyke lives, to highlight the presence of Dykes within our community, and in protest of the discrimination, harassment, and violence we face in schools, on the job, and in our communities. Any person who identifies as a dyke is welcome to march regardless of gender expression or identity, sex assigned at birth, sexual orientation, race, age, political affiliation, religious identity, ability, class, or immigration status. ” The march culminates in a protest in Washington Square Park.

WorldPride Closing Ceremony
June 30, 7 – 9 P.M., Times Square

This glittering evening will bring influential speakers and global musical talents who represent the cultural diversity and the LGBTQIA+ community. Comedienne Margaret Cho is scheduled to host and renowned artists slated to perform include Melissa Etheridge, Jake Shears and more.

Parties and social events

Ladyland Festival
June 28-29, 5 P.M. at Brooklyn Mirage

This outdoor queer music festival-slash-Pride party-slash-concert happens over the span of two days at Brooklyn Mirage in Bushwick, sharing the huge space with thousands of tropical plants and trees, a two-story catwalk and a four-story observation tower with amazing views of Manhattan and Brooklyn. All are welcome for a lineup that includes famous folk like Gossip, Pussy Riot, Honey Dijon, and many, many more lesser luminaries.

Pride Square Dance
Friday, June 28, The Doghouse (Hareen Hall 4th Floor), John Jay College of Criminal Justice, 899 Tenth Avenue

Times Squares host this square dance party for everyone from beginners to advanced square dancers, along with introductory lessons for those interested in learning the joys of modern western square dancing from 7:00 – 8:00 P.M.

Femme Fatale
Sunday, June 30, 4 P.M. – Midnight at The Park, 118 10th Avenue

This official, inclusive Sunday rooftop party invites you to eat, drink, dance, and mingle with over 1,500+ partygoers from all over the world.

Garden Party
Monday, June 24th at Pier 97 at Hudson River Park

Join the LGBT Community Center and top restaurant partners and chefs for seasonal fare from a diverse selection of restaurants and celebrate Pride at sunset, then dance the night away. Proceeds go to the Center’s vital programs and services. If garden parties are totally your thing, you’ll also want to hit the New York Botanical Garden’s World Pride Night on June 15th for an evening with Brazilian flair.

Twilight Pride
June 21, 6:30-9:30 P.M., Alice Austen House, 2 Hylan Boulevard, Staten Island

The photographer Alice Austen (1866-1952) and her partner, Gertrude Tate, lived together at Clear Comfort–Austen’s home in Rosebank, Staten Island–for almost 30 years. Honor them with a twilight lawn party at Austen’s home, now a historic landmark and LGBT historic site.

stonewall 50, pride month, gay pride, LGBT, LGBTQ

Pride Island
June 29-30, 2-10 P.M. at Hudson River Park’s Pier 97

Party with Grace Jones and more on the pier in Hell’s Kitchen. Need we say more? Want more parties? You’re in luck. The city becomes one big, beautiful disco during the month of June, and we couldn’t even begin to list all the soirees, from down and dirty to flirty and fabulous. If you’re taking notes, you’ll find a few more here, here, here, here and here.

Alegria WorldPride 2019 
Sunday, June 30 at Brooklyn Mirage, 40 Stewart Avenue

This event from Cirque du Soleil touring production Alegria happens at The Brooklyn Mirage and includes a performance by Alegria Circus, music and a massive indoor 15,000-square-foot space with a 5,000-square-foot dance floor space.

NYC Pride Fireworks Cruise aboard the Timeless
June 30, Boarding 6 P.M., Pier 36

Some would argue that best way to see the 2019 Pride fireworks show is on a party boat with panoramic views of the NYC skyline while enjoying cocktails and dancing to top hits spun by a live DJ.

Youth Pride at Summerstage
June 29, 12 – 6 P.M.

This exciting experience for LGBTQIA+ and ally teens invites young people to celebrate NYC Pride with their friends in Central Park. Expect interactive experiences, games and entertainment including rising pop sensation Ava Max. Another young people’s event to look out for is Pride on the Horizon for ages 13-20. The It Gets Better Project returns to The Standard to help LGBTQ+ youth celebrate WorldPride together. Expect drag and ball performances from up-and-coming NYC youth performers and a panel of celebrity guests hosts/judges and more.

Savor Pride
June 28, 6 – 9 P.M., 166 6th Avenue

This Pride event hosted by charitable organization God’s Love We Deliver opens the doors on their gorgeous public events space for this culinary event featuring LGBTQIA+ and ally chefs including Renee Blackman and author Julia Turshen. There will be food, of course, but also cooking demonstrations, all on a terrace overlooking Sixth Avenue and Spring Street. Proceeds will benefit both GLWD and NYC Pride.

The Pride Sale at Swann Auction Galleries
Exhibition on view June 15 – 10, 104 East 25th Street

Swann Auction Galleries’ first Pride Sale will offer books, manuscripts, photographs, archives, art and objects from the last two centuries, chronicling the lives of luminaries and the history of movements, parades, and protests. Among featured artists and writers are James Baldwin, Djuna Barnes, Paul Cadmus, Jean Cocteau, Candy Darling, Jared French, Christian Holstad, Glenn Ligon, Avel de Knight, Gertrude Stein, Oscar Wilde, Tennessee Williams, and Walt Whitman. Highlights include original artwork for the Chelsea Boys comic strip, a Peter Hujar portrait of David Wojnarowicz, Robert Mapplethorpe’s Z Portfolio and letters from Harvey Milk.

For the athletically inclined there’s a 5k Pride run in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park, a bike ride that ends with a BBQ and festival at Riverbank State Park, Chelsea Challenge hockey, and Out to Climb, a chance to take Pride to new heights with a vertical drag show, auto belay races with prizes, climbing instruction and beer from the team at Brooklyn Boulders.

Borough and neighborhood pride

Brooklyn Pride Day
June 8

The Brooklyn brand has always symbolized diversity and this month the borough chooses a day to celebrate Pride officially. Events include an evening parade that’s been happening for 23 years, a 5K run and a street festival.

1 Bronx 1 World Pride Festival
June 23

Help celebrate the diversity of the Bronx with a rally, march, and festival. Start with a rally at the Bronx county courthouse, the join a liberation-themed march down the Grand Concourse to East 149th Street, where a festival featuring local vendors, artists and a pair of performance stages awaits.

Harlem Pride: 100th Anniversary of the Harlem Renaissance

It’s the 10th anniversary for the Harlem Pride community organization and the 100th Anniversary of the Harlem Renaissance as well as the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising. All those 00s mean lots of celebration; the main event, Harlem Pride 2019 10th Anniversary Celebration Day happens on June 29th, but events happen uptown all month.

Places to visit, sites to see, history

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Image courtesy of Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park; image credit: Paul Warchol..

Ascend With Pride
Saturday, June 15, 12 – 6 P.M., FDR Four Freedoms State Park, Roosevelt Island

Take advantage of a great Instagram opportunity as the park’s monumental staircase is transformed into a massive LGBTQ Pride flag measuring 12 feet x 100 feet. The park is also hosting a free WorldPride celebration for all ages.

Gay Green-Wood trolley tour 
June 16, 3:30-5:30 P.M., Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn

In honor of Stonewall 50, Green-Wood Cemetery and the LGBT Historic Sites Project will offer a two-hour trolley tour taking visitors to the final resting places of some of Green-Wood’s most illustrious LGBT “permanent residents” including the composer Leonard Bernstein, the Bethesda Fountain sculptor Emma Stebbins, the artist Violet Oakley, and the singer and “It’s Raining Men” co-writer Paul Jabara.

Love & Resistance: Stonewall 50

The New York Public Library is commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots through a major exhibition, a series of programs and events, book recommendations, and more. For the exhibition, “Love & Resistance: Stonewall 50” chronicles the emergence of LGBTQ activism with over 150 photographs and ephemera.

Hop On Hop OUT! The Pride Experience

Throughout the month of June, the fabulous Anita Buffem will host a whimsical two-hour bus tour highlighting the gay history of New York City while a licensed New York City tour guide will provide the facts.

The NAMES Project AIDS memorial quilt

Since 1987 the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt has served as a memorial for those who have died of AIDS and a way to help people understand the devastating impact of the disease. Throughout June, locations throughout New York City will display memorial quilt panels.

Gay New York Before Stonewall
June 5, 6:30 P.M., New York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West

From male beauty contests in Coney Island and drag balls in Harlem to gay clubs in the Village, New York City was a center of gay male culture decades before the Stonewall uprising. Columbia University and author of “Gay New York” George Chauncey will discuss this lesser-known history the hosts of the Bowery Boys podcast.

Lesbian Herstory Archives
484 14th St. in Park Slope, Brooklyn, between 8th Avenue and Prospect Park West

Tucked into a Park Slope brownstone, The Lesbian Herstory Archives is home to the world’s largest collection of materials by and about lesbians and their communities. You can visit the Archives anytime they’re open to browse, do research or to volunteer.

Gay Secrets tour of the Met Museum
Friday, June 28th, 6:15 – 8:15 P.M., Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 5th Avenue

This two-hour tour of the venerable museum points out gay themes in art, from ancient Greece to modern times

Pride luminaries brunch
Sunday, June 23rd, 11 A.M. – 3 P.M., Magic Hour Rooftop Bar & Lounge at Moxy Times Square

Honor inspiring business leaders that have made an impact on LGBTQIA+ equality in the workplace at this exclusive brunch event. Join industry insiders, media mavens and proud politicians for the brunch affair of the season. Proceeds benefit NYC Pride.

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Photo: Marc A. Hermann / MTA New York City Transit

The MTA’s limited-edition MetroCards

In addition to decking out certain subway cards with Pride decals and adding an entire Pride merchandise collection to their stores, the MTA has released a pair or limited-edition Pride MetroCards. Only 500 have printed though, so act quick!

Photo courtesy of NYCEDC

NYC Ferry’s Pride Vessel

The city launched a ferry decorated for WorldPride that will service all six routes until early July. The “Pride Vessel” features the “Pride.Uncontained.” theme on its windows and on the stern. The rainbow pattern will be visible from the shores, according to the city.

Culture, film, theater, and art

stonewall 50, pride month, gay pride, LGBT, LGBTQTuesday Smillie (American, born 1981). S.T.A.R., 2012. Watercolor, collage on board, 91⁄2 x 11 in. (24.1 x 27.9 cm). Courtesy of the artist. © Tuesday Smillie

“Nobody Promised You Tomorrow: Art 50 Years After Stonewall” at the Brooklyn Museum
May 3–December 8, Sackler Center for Feminist Art, 4th Floor, Brooklyn Museum, 200 Eastern Parkway

“Nobody Promised You Tomorrow: Art 50 Years After Stonewall” commemorates the fiftieth anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall Uprising and explores its profound legacy in contemporary art and visual culture. The exhibition presents twenty-eight LGBTQ+ artists born after 1969 whose works address with the unique conditions of our political time through painting, sculpture, installation, performance, and video.

“Stonewall” at New York City Opera
June 21-28, Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Rose Theater, Time Warner Center

“Stonewall” is a moving and explosive new American opera that captures the rage, grit, humor, and hope of the LGBTQ community’s uprising in a Greenwich Village dance club on a fateful night in June 1969. Divided into three parts, the opera follows a diverse group of characters whose lives meet at a pivotal moment in history. Opera lovers may also want to catch New York City Opera Pride Concert in Bryant Park.

Film buffs have plenty of options this Pride Month.  A few highlights: “Before Stonewall,” gets a run at Quad Cinema in the Village, “The Queen” reigns at IFC Center and “Paris Is Burning” opens on June 14 at Film Forum.

Quiet No More: A Choral Celebration of Stonewall
June 27, 8 P.M., Carnegie Hall Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage

NYCGMC commemorates Stonewall 50 as well as the 40th anniversary of the group’s founding with a brand new choral music suite, co-commissioned by NYCGMC and the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles. The piece will have performances by choruses throughout the US in 2019, the largest collaboration in the history of LGBTQ choruses.

June 8, 15, 22, 29

Creative studio Offline Projects has developed a four-part workshop series for the LGBTQ+ community this month. Coinciding with the city’s “NY is Music” initiative, INTERLUDE+  consists of unique programming, including a zine workshop, vogue dance class, and workshop on music production, in nontraditional locations.

Google and LGBT Community Center’s ‘Stonewall Forever

In collaboration with the LGBT Community Center, Google has helped create an interactive “living monument” in honor of the Stonewall uprising’s 50th anniversary. The monument contains colorful pieces of digitized artifacts, oral histories, and photos. An augmented reality app allows visitors to experience “Stonewall Forever” in Christopher Park, the landmark green space that sits in front of the Stonewall Inn.

Promotions, products, and businesses getting involved

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Image courtesy of Shake Shack.

It may seem as if every business in the city is offering a promotion or special in support of Pride Month; a few you might find noteworthy include Lyft, whose app now offers a range of optional pronouns to demonstrate support for transgender and non-binary riders, salad chain Sweetgreen, who is offering a commemorative Pride tee with proceeds going to a group that helps LGBTQ+ youth, Just Salad, whose Just Proud Salad is available throughout June with proceeds going to charity, and Shake Shack, where you can get a Pride Shake that includes cake batter, glitter and rainbow sprinkles and benefits the Trevor Project. Magnolia Bakery will also be benefitting the Trevor Project with its Pride banana pudding.

Via William Greenberg Desserts

Mega-developer Related is also celebrating Pride this month. Bluebird London will offer rainbow cookies and a Stonewall Cocktail, with a portion of proceeds donated to the Trevor Project, Sugarfina is selling special rainbow candy, with all proceeds donated to GLAAD, and William Greenberg Desserts are making rainbow-colored black & white mini cookies and Pride-inspired cake.


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