Pride Guide

Celebrating 50 years since Stonewall

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Pride Guide

The Shops at Columbus Circle and various other NYC shops, clubs and museums are hosting special events to celebrate Pride Month.

The Shops at Columbus Circle and various other NYC shops, clubs and museums are hosting special events to celebrate Pride Month.

GILLIAN RUSSO/THE OBSERVER

The Shops at Columbus Circle and various other NYC shops, clubs and museums are hosting special events to celebrate Pride Month.

GILLIAN RUSSO/THE OBSERVER

GILLIAN RUSSO/THE OBSERVER

The Shops at Columbus Circle and various other NYC shops, clubs and museums are hosting special events to celebrate Pride Month.

By ALYANA VERA, Contributing Writer

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Pride Month is officially upon us. It normally syncs up with the start of summer break for most students, and this year it also falls on the 50th anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall riots. The June 28 riots took place at the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, now considered the birthplace of the modern gay rights movement.

Organizations across the five boroughs are gearing up for the Golden Jubilee by putting on not just traditional pride events, but dialogues and retrospectives. To add to the momentous occasion, New York City has been chosen to host World Pride this year, the first time a city in the United States has ever done so.

While how you celebrate pride is ultimately your own choice, it’s important to consider the context surrounding pride, especially if you are an ally. Pride Month isn’t just an excuse to party. If you are an ally considering attending a pride event, consider also taking the time to learn more about the struggle for LGBTQ equality and the ways in which you can substantially further it long after Pride Month has ended.

For those looking to learn more about the Stonewall riots and the continued role that NYC organizations have played in advocating for equality, the Brooklyn Museum is currently exhibiting “Nobody Promised You Tomorrow: Art 50 Years After Stonewall,” on display until December 8. The exhibition features LGBTQ artists born in the period after the protests, whose artworks grapple with themes of revolt and desire through different mediums. The museum has also set up a resource room for visitors to learn more about local LGBTQ organizations.

The New York Public Library is hosting a special exhibition in honor of the 50th anniversary of Stonewall. The exhibition, called “Love and Resistance: Stonewall at 50,” is a retrospective that has pulled from the library’s own collections and the work of photojournalists Kay Tobin Lahusen and Diana Davies in order to flesh out the LGBTQ movement following Stonewall.

Not far from campus, the New York Historical Society has set up two exhibitions and a special installation to commemorate the Stonewall riots. “By the Force of Our Presence: Highlights from the Lesbian Herstory Archives” highlights the contributions of lesbian and queer women within the LGBTQ movement. “Say it Loud, Out and Proud: Fifty Years of Pride,” the graphic installation, will also trace important movements in the LGBTQ movement utilizing imagery from previous pride marches. The second exhibition, “Letting Loose and Fighting Back: LGBTQ Nightlife Before and After Stonewall,” will explore the role that bars and clubs played in identity formation and consciousness raising within the LGBTQ community in the latter half of the 20th century. A host of public programs will run concurrent to the exhibitions, with a full calendar available on the society’s website.

Nightlife continues to play an integral part in the LGBTQ community. Brooklyn-based party and art collective Papi Juice uses their events to provide a safe space for marginalized people and  will host their own World Pride event at Elsewhere on Friday, June 28. Papi Juice has become known for their focus on queer and trans people of color (QTPOC), offering tiered ticket prices for allies and QTPOC. Tickets for the event will range from $30 to $50, with the most expensive tier providing entry to a reception before the party, the party itself, two drinks and snacks.

The event will also mark six years since Papi Juice was first founded, and more than 26 queer and trans artists of color will help celebrate the occasion. The party is 21-plus, but for those who are still underage, there are plenty of other events happening across the five boroughs.

Pride Month isn’t complete without the annual NYC Pride March, one of the world’s biggest pride events, organized by Heritage of Pride. The march will begin at noon on June 30 at the northwest corner of Madison Square Park. It will stop at the Stonewall National Monument and the NYC AIDS Memorial before completing its route at 23rd St. and Seventh Ave.

Grand Marshals, leaders in the community who are chosen to lead the march, include cast members from “Pose,” a critically acclaimed show that chronicles the NYC ball culture in the 80s. The show has made headlines for its representation of trans people and people living with HIV/AIDS. Other Marshals will include members of the Gay Liberation Front and the Trevor Project, and around 100 floats are expected to be a part of the march.

A counter-march will also take place the same day, in response to criticism that the official march has become increasingly corporate and has a heavy police presence. The Queer Liberation March and Rally was organized by the Reclaim Pride Coalition and invites spectators to join the march at any point and without prior registration. The route will be the same as the original anniversary march of 1970, starting at Sheridan Square before ending in Central Park’s Great Lawn. The march will kick off at 10 a.m.

Heritage of Pride also organizes Youth Pride and Pride Fest, which take place the day before and the day of the official march, respectively. Youth Pride is free for attendees younger than 21. Pride Fest, which is also free, will feature live music, food and other vendors. NYC rap artist Princess Nokia is slated to headline the festival.

World Pride will kick off on June 26 with an opening ceremony hosted by Whoopi Goldberg at the Barclays Center. From 7 to 10 p.m., attendees will experience performances from Billy Porter, Cyndi Lauper, Chaka Khan, Ciara and more. Tickets, which cost at least $65, will help fund NYC-based organizations such as the Ali Forney Center, Immigration Equality and SAGE.

If you want to celebrate pride outside of corporate-sponsored events, consider attending one of the Playground Coffee Shop’s film screenings on June 20 or 27. The screenings are organized by top/Not and will feature films by or about black queer people. Entry is donation-based, and the suggested donation is $3. The Playground Coffee Shop’s programming will be listed on its Instagram page. For news about other events happening around the city, follow The Tea NYC (@theteanyc). The Instagram account is dedicated to reposting and sharing events happening in the QTPOC community.

Pride Month is always a special occasion for a city that prides itself on its diversity. With the anniversary for Stonewall and World Pride this year, NYC is full of events celebrating the LGBTQ community. As a student and a member of the NYC community, it is important to learn about the city’s history and celebrate the strides towards equality the LGBTQ community has made in the past five decades. Outside of the festivities, Pride Month is a chance to reflect on previous activism, recommit to the original goals of the movement, and help understand what role you can personally play in making the future better.