Celebrating NYC & World Pride!
For the first time, New York City is hosting World Pride. It is showing up to be, as one can only expect of one of the world’s greatest cities, truly fantastic! This year is especially noteworthy, as any New Yorker who hasn’t been living under a rock already knows, since it marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots – the historic rebellion that opened the door for the modern LGBT rights movement.
For the full month of June, many NYC residents and visitors from all over the country will be uniting to celebrate the great strides that have been made toward gay rights and to shine a light on issues that are still to be resolved.
There are so many ways this month to be inspired by artists, speakers and your fellow New Yorkers. But, before getting into the fun of things, I ventured to explore the history.
As a result, I can recommend a good place to start your Pride celebrations is a visit to 2 Photography Exhibits: “The Voice of the Village” and its companion exhibition “PRIDE: Photographs of Stonewall and Beyond.” Both are compilations of work by the phenomenal photographer Fred McDarrah. They feature (conversation starter) images of the gay rights movement, Stonewall and anti-Vietnam demonstrations. “The Voice of the Village” (through Dec. 1) shows New York City’s tumultuous moments in history, from the counterculture of the1960s to the major political events of the early 1970s.
I also recommend going on an empty stomach and taking a full day to experience these wonderful exhibits because, if you are at all like me, you’ll walk away feeling both disheartened at the injustice to the point of physical disgust and inspired— ready to reign hellfire down on the next bigot you meet that blinks a lash.
Powerfully moving, these exhibits particularly focus on the fight for civil rights and demonstrations against the Vietnam War, featuring photographs of cultural icons such as Allen Ginsberg and Bob Dylan. The companion exhibit, “Pride,” (through Dec. 31) focuses on McDarrah’s images of gay pride and other LGBTQ parades, demonstrations and events. June 6 – December “The Voice of the Village” and “Pride” photography by Fred McDarrah exhibits. 1220 Fifth Avenue, Manhattan; 212-534-1672, mcny.org
You might want to continue your journey by exploring the black queer experience at Schomburg Center Pride Film Festival. They are showing a series of groundbreaking films and a group discussion. These three movies have impacted the world will be screened: 1. A litany for Survival: The Life and Work of Audre Lorde); 2. Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin; 3. Moonlight. Even if you miss the screening, I recommend putting them on your ‘must see’ list. See showtimes. June 15, 2019 from 12:00 PM to 6:00 PM (EDT); Schomburg Center For Research in Black Culture, NY, NY
Now with that perspective, you’re ready to honor, celebrate, stand and par-tay!
Opening Day Ceremony this year, the June festivities will be kicked off by a huge benefit concert at Barclays Center on June 26. So far, performers include Cyndi Lauper, Chaka Khan, Whoopi Goldberg, Ciara and Billy Porter. The concert proceeds will go to the Ali Forney Center, an organization that helps homeless LGBT youth, immigration Equality, an LGBTQ immigrant rights organization and AGE, a non-profit dedicated to improving the lives of older LGBT adults. June 26. 7-10 p.m.; Barclays Center, NY.
Manhattan Minds hopes to see you at this Special One Day Symposium, “After Stonewall: 50 Years of Black and Brown Resistance” hosted by the Baldwin Hansberry Project and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. The keynote event will be a staged public intergenerational dialogue between leading black LGBT activists reflecting on the various “lessons” that Stonewall teach contemporary activists. The goal is to inspire the public to focus on the importance of letting transwomen lead, the political effectiveness of disruptive direct action and the power of multiracial organizing. June 27 6-10 p.m. Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, NY, NY
I won’t be experiencing Madonna’s Performance at Pride Island Festival (Madonna confirmed rumors she will be performing at Pride Island at World Pride this year) but might catch a peek (tickets are sold out) if someone dares to YT live stream. Joining her will be Grace Jones. Madonna has been one of the loudest voices in support of the Pride community for years and in the last decade has used her fame to fervently speak as an advocate for change, often publicly admonishing anti-LGBTQ practices in Russia, Romania and Malawi. You go material girl! Pier 97. June 30 at 2 p.m.
The list of brunches, cocktails, concerts and events in the final week is seemingly endless, but for those who don’t already know the absolute basics: The Pride March is one of the largest civil rights demonstrations in the world. Millions of rainbow-clad activists and supporters will take to the streets to bring attention to the LGBTQ movement. The parade begins at 26th Street and 5th Avenue, continues on to Eighth Street, then crosses over Christopher Street and the Stonewall National Monument. After that, the march continues up Seventh Avenue and ends at 23rdStreet. June 30th starting at noon. March begins at 26th St. and 5th Ave.
Of course, I’ll be supporting breakout beauty brand KIERIN NYC in its support of communities against violence and the New York City Anti-Violence Project. For the entire month of June, KIERIN NYC will be donating 15% of all retail sales online at www.kierin-nyc.com to the NYC Anti-Violence Project in its continued support of equality, diversity, inclusion and LGBTQ communities. Don’t miss the AVP’s celebration on Thursday, June 20, 2019 between 6:00-9:00 P.M. at Hudson Terrace (621 W 46th St, New York, NY 10036). Tickets begin at $50 and you can buy tickets here.
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Author: Mona Maine de Biran
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