Those protests are now commemorated in the city’s annual Pride Week celebration, one of New York’s most beloved festivals and with time, it has evolved way beyond its party-hard reputation of previous decades…writes Siddhi Jain.
Queer groups have gained much more acceptance in society since they started to raise their voice against discrimination. June is marked as the LGBTQ Pride Month, usually celebrated with street festivals, events and parties. Majority of the Pride events in the USA take place in June and July to commemorate the 1969 Stonewall Uprising which mostly happen on the same weekends. So, whether you’re a member of the LGBTQ community or an ally, here’s all you need to know about how Pride events are celebrated in five key US cities to experience the colorful affair to the fullest.
San Francisco, California
Long considered as one of the most LGBT-friendly cities in the U.S., San Francisco is nicknamed ‘the gay capital of the world’ and is home to one of the largest and most prominent LGBT communities in the country. There are rainbow-clad streets, gay-friendly districts, and some of the most prominent LGBT festivals and celebrations take place here. And if there’s any gay pride event in the U.S. you surely need to attend, it’s the San Francisco Pride. It takes place in June’s latter half and draws over a million people.
While there will be no big Pride parade and celebration event in downtown San Francisco this year, you can still expect a mix of in-person gatherings and online events as people around the Bay Area celebrate Pride. San Francisco’s Pride celebration embodies the freedom of expression, human rights and love; all things that the California city is known for embracing.
New York City, New York
Every June, the streets of New York are transformed into a blitz of rainbow flags, bared skin, and joyous dancing. While at first glance it might look like just a typical New York City Street party, NYC Pride’s roots are steeped deeper in history. The modern gay rights movement began here in 1969, when riots followed a police raid at the Stonewall Inn, an LGBTQ bar. Those protests are now commemorated in the city’s annual Pride Week celebration, one of New York’s most beloved festivals and with time, it has evolved way beyond its party-hard reputation of previous decades. The late June event includes a rally and parade, with more than 350 contingents marching through Manhattan.
This year, The NYC Pride March will take place virtually on June 27 with Grand Marshals Wilson Cruz from Star Trek: Discovery and activist Ceyenne Doroshow leading the event that includes live performances and street side activities. The Rally on June 25 will host a number of speakers in an online forum. There’s also a human rights conference and a Black Queer town hall.
Famed for its mountains, craft-beer, legal marijuana, and hunky bearded men, Denver is also a magnet for LGBTQ+ people all over the ‘Wild West’. While the gorgeous Rocky Mountains are right on the doorstep, you can also find a diverse selection of gay bars, clubs, and bathhouses alongside plenty of art, culture and growing culinary scene.
Denver, Colorado’s PrideFest celebration, which takes place in mid-June is the most family-friendly gay pride event in the US. It has been growing in recent years, drawing more than 350,000 people. The festivities include parties, concerts, a parade, a 5-kilometer walk/run and activities like face painting for kids. Denver is also a dog-loving city, and the ‘Dogs in Drag parade’ is one of the most popular event of PrideFest. To keep the community safe and healthy during the Covid-19, the Denver Pride Parade is going virtual again for the 2021 Coors Light Virtual Denver Pride Parade.
Charleston, South Carolina
It is a charming city full of colourful architecture, oak-shaded plazas, and history aplenty plus tranquil beaches, making it a winning choice for Pride festivities. Charleston Pride Fest is a party like no other. It is one of the later pride events in the USA, taking place each year in September. It is the perfect excuse for an end of summer escape with great weather and a charming welcome. Charleston Pride Festival is held over 7 days with a series of rainbow studded events culminating in a final weekend pride festival and parade.
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