How to get the best from NYC Pride?
June 4, 2019 9:52 AM   Subscribe

My wife and I are attending NYC Pride June 28-30. We have previously attended much smaller Pride celebrations and are a little overwhelmed by the options.

We know about the dueling parades/marches, and will probably try to catch some of both. We'd like some women's events, some spectacle, some cool places to hang and be in the mix, some good queer/lesbian bars that don't have official events, and good events or places for people of color.

Basically our Pride experiences have been dominated by white cis gay men, and we'd love to switch that up. Thanks, and Happy Pride!
posted by donnagirl to Travel & Transportation around New York, NY (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
trans new yorker here. i’ve been to pride in san francisco and in nyc and i’m sad to report that it’s a washed out corporately-sponsored waste of time. i heartily recommend dyke march instead — june 29th at bryant park at 5 pm.
posted by =d.b= at 12:51 PM on June 4, 2019 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Dyke March is great, strongly recommend.

My favorite way to experience the parade itself, if that's of interest to you, is heading down to Greenwich Village afterwards -- all the streets are closed off, & fill up with masses and masses of queer people, basically from the afternoon into the night. If you haven't spent much time in the Village before, expect to get lost.

The parade itself is a big mix (like most pride parades) of corporations/community orgs/weirdness. iirc, the front section of the parade has been theoretically revamped somewhat to be more crowd-pleasing and less Bank of America -- dykes on bikes are first as always, and I think the gay marching band is in there too. In past years you've been able to find the full lineup (ie, who marches when) through some arcane process involving Heritage of Pride's official website; I haven't managed to figure it out this year. Like other pride parades, the audience is sometimes just as enjoyable to watch as the parade itself. (Note that it will also make all forms of transit very difficult, to a sort of unbelievable extent.)

If you like clubs, Hot Rabbit/Bad Habit usually runs a 'cooler' event than the official pride women's parties, and I think Brooklyn-based Misster! is supposed to be good too. There are various other women's promoters that go in and out of active -- SpiceNYC, GirlNation, Crazy Maria Cherry Lips. Go Mag is often a pretty good source for NYC queer women's events.

The big lesbian bars in Manhattan are probably Henrietta Hudson (tiny, more 30s/40s/50s+ demographic than some other bars) and Cubbyhole. There's a handful of bars in the outer boroughs. (I don't know why that article lists Hot Rabbit as a bar, it is just a party.)

If you're interested in cultural events/less spectacle-y parties, I'd try to look through cultural institutions and see what they're doing. I haven't done this yet myself and I don't know your taste, so I don't have specific suggestions, but NewFest , Queer|Art, Bluestockings, Lambda Literary, etc. often have pride-specific events.

In general -- NYC is huge, Pride is huge, and because of world pride, Pride this year will be even huger. It's going to be a total clusterfuck, but there's usually some good stuff buried in the mess of vodka ads/free condoms/police barriers. What exactly that will entail for you is going to depend some on your interests -- good luck!
posted by elanid at 8:03 AM on June 5, 2019 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Following on elanid's suggestion of cultural events, my office put together a calendar of exhibits & programs related to Pride, the Stonewall anniversary and beyond.

Personally I will be doing Front Runners' Pride Run.
posted by TravellingCari at 10:49 AM on June 5, 2019 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: We went, we saw, we're Proud. For future reference we (married, cis women, 38 & 52, one of us is black) really enjoyed the following things:

-Front Runners Pride Run. She runs, I watch. Glorious to see so many queers running together. Also it was massive.
-Cubbyhole. Packed, one in one out but great energy.
-Henrietta Hudson. Perfect for sweaty packed-in dancing. Had a cover, worth it.
-NYPL Stonewall exhibit. So beautiful.
-Dyke March. Transformative, I want all my life to be this March. Trying to start a dyke drum corps in Portland Maine now.
-Hung out in queer areas surrounded by queers speaking every language

It was great. We skipped the main parade, opting to go up in the Empire State Bldg instead, and all the giant ass parties (which were primarily marketed to cis white dudes anyway).
posted by donnagirl at 5:42 AM on July 7, 2019

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