By Maria Rocha-Buschel
With the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising this Friday, Pride Month is reaching its peak this week. This is also the first year that WorldPride will be held in New York. The event, which was first held in Rome in 2000, promotes LGBTQ issues on an international level through parades and other cultural activities and has previously been held in Jerusalem, London, Toronto and Madrid. As the month comes to an end on Sunday, there are a number of local events scheduled for residents to celebrate.
NYC Pride March
Perhaps the most well-known Pride event in the city is the annual Pride March. As in recent years, the march travels along Fifth Avenue but the route changed last year to include a new memorial dedicated to New York City men, women and children who have died of AIDS on Seventh Avenue at West 12th Street. The march starts at noon on Sunday, June 30 at 26th Street and Fifth Avenue just north of Madison Square Park and will head south. The route will then go west at Eighth Street towards the Stonewall National Monument in the West Village, then will head north again on Seventh Avenue, traveling past the NYC AIDS Memorial Park at West 12th Street and ending at West 23rd Street and Seventh Avenue.
Dueling Drag Queens
This performance of dueling drag queens is part of the Union Square Partnership’s Citi Summer in the Square that takes place every Thursday through August 8. Every week features a different dueling act on the South Plaza main stage in Union Square and during Pride Week on Thursday, June 27 at 5 p.m. will feature Screaming Queens, a boutique entertainment company providing drag queens, impersonators, colorful theme characters and offbeat cabaret artists. Audience members can cheer for their favorite drag queen to win the title of “Miss Citi Summer in the Square 2019.”
Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Tony Kushner will be a special guest speaker during Pride Shabbat at Congregation Beit Simchat Torah’s Pride celebrations, which will be held in the Masonic Hall at 46 West 24th Street on Friday, June 28 at 6:30 p.m. New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson will also speak, and former CBST Board President Michael Levine will offer personal memories of Stonewall. This Shabbat service will be ASL-interpreted and live-streamed on the congregation’s Facebook page at facebook.com/BeitSimchatTorah.
This annual protest march takes place on Fifth Avenue from Bryant Park to Washington Square Park on Saturday, June 29 starting at 5 p.m. The march is open to self-identified dykes, regardless of gender expression or identity, sex assigned at birth, sexual orientation, race, age, political affiliation, religious identity, ability, class or immigration status, but the organizers ask that allies respect the march as a space for those who identify as dykes by showing their support from the sidewalks.
Nowhere Bar at 322 East 14th Street will be hosting a post-Dyke March happy hour from 7 to 10 p.m. with DJ Tikka Masala and Double Headed Disco.
Two local businesses are hosting a drag brunch for Pride this weekend.
NoMad bar Oscar Wilde at 45 West 27th Street has been hosting a Drag Queen Brunch on Saturdays and Sundays this month and the last chance to catch a show will be this Saturday, June 29. The brunch features performances by drag queen Jasmine Rice LaBeija and DJ 2FACE.
The first seating is from 1 to 2:30 p.m. and the second seating is from 3 to 4 p.m. Walk-ins are welcome, and bar seats are first come, first served. Diners will have the option to add $1 to their bill that will be donated to the Trevor Project, which provides crisis intervention for LGBTQ youth, and the bar will match each $1 contribution during Drag Queen Brunch.
Burger & Lobster will be hosting their own drag brunch at their Flatiron location at 39 West 19th Street, not far from the end of the Pride March on Sunday, June 30. The brunch will feature special guest Brooke Lynn Hytes from RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 11 and special guest DJ Bob the Drag Queen. There will be performances by Brooke Lynn Hytes, Sapphira Cristal, Kandy Muse, Sherry Pie, Iris Spectre and Selma Nilla. There will be a limited a la carte and beverage package and communal seating for the show will start at noon.
WorldPride After Party
Oscar Wilde will also be hosting a WorldPride after part after the Pride March on Sunday starting from 3 p.m. The bar, located at 45 West 27th Street is an eight-minute walk from the end of the parade route. There is no cover fee and there will be a live DJ performance. The bar will also be featuring a specialty cocktail called “Good Judy” and $2 from every specialty drink sold will be donated to Broadway Cares, an HIV/AIDS fundraising and grantmaking organization.
Nowhere Bar, a gay bar at 322 East 14th Street, will also be hosting a “Just Another Sunday” Pride March afterparty. The bar will open early at 1 p.m. and will feature music from Dezi 5, Cameron Cooper, Zach Cole and Reaubert. There is no cover and the bar will be open until 4 a.m.
This annual street fair on Fourth Avenue from Union Square to Astor Place offers exhibitors, entertainers and food vendors from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, June 30. Television and fashion personality, E.J. Johnson, will host PrideFest and rapper Princess Nokia will perform. There will also be performances from singer Lauren Jauregui, Australian band The Veronicas and Melanie C & Sink The Pink. Musical performances will be held from noon to 5:30 p.m. and the stage is on Fourth Avenue between East 9th and 10th Streets. Food vendors and an ADA-accessible seating area will be set up on Fourth Avenue between East 10th and 11th Streets and the vendors include Taim, Luzzo’s La Pizza Napoletana, Cousins Maine Lobster, Mighty Quinn’s Barbeque and others. This event is free and open to the public.
Drag Queen Story Hour
Drag queen Angel Elektra will be reading to kids as part of Citi Summer in the Square on Union Square’s South Plaza on Thursday, June 27 from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. There will also be a Drag Queen Story House as part of PrideFest when drag queen Miz Jade will be reading stories at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, June 30 on Fourth Avenue between East 12th and 13th Streets.
WorldPride Mural Project
One ongoing event for the city during Pride Month is a series of murals that have popped up as part of WorldPride. NYC Pride, the group organizing WorldPride and Pride week events, collaborated with curator LISA Project NYC, HSBC and Macy’s for the WorldPride Mural Project initiative to create 50 murals throughout the five boroughs. Murals can be found locally through Sunday, June 30 at East 14th Street and Avenue A, 34 West 28th Street and Seventh Avenue and West 22nd Street.
PrideFest on Sunday will also feature a Mural Market on Fourth Avenue between East 11th and 12th Streets and will include a booth showcasing some of the murals around the city that have been installed as part of the initiative and a video will feature information about the artists who created some of the murals.