March, Rally, Party!
A Guide to LGBT Pride Month Events in the Tri-State Area
Since the beginning of 2003, rallies, protests and marches have been a regular feature of life in the New York City area. Thousands of people, though peaceful, are raising their voices outside buildings and through the streets, in unison against a war -- or, more accurately, in favor of a cause they believe in or an idea they want to support or an issue.
This year's theme, Peace Through Pride, is not only applicable to members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community, our family and friends, but to those connected to the community as individuals who have, as well, become immersed in a tumultuous new reality. The following pre-Pride guide lists rallies, marches and celebrations whose goals are real, determined and shared -- that we embrace diversity, understand the person we are standing next to, scream and shout, laugh and throw our arms up and holler, all in the name of peace.
New York City Rally: Saturday, June 22
Perhaps the only mass event of late at which we all can get along is "The Rally: Pride Starts Here," which kicks off another year of out-loud voices and out-there artists for out-and-about members, family and friends of the NYC LGBT Community (or for anyone from anywhere willing to indulge in the remarkable energy that can only be New-York-City-brand pride!). A peerless combination of words, song and passion, this year's rally features a spectrum of performers and speakers, notably:
The Rally, held this year on Sunday, June 22, takes place at Bryant Park, located at 42nd Street and 6th Avenue, beginning at 2:00 pm and continuing until 6:00 pm. The most direct routes are the 4, 5, 6, B, D, F, N or Q trains to 42nd St. or the 7 train to 5th Ave. As always, the Rally will feature sign-language interpreters and allow wheelchair access. The 11th Annual NYC Dyke March will also be depart from Bryant Park at 5:00 pm on Saturday June 28, 2003, which according to the organizers, is a protest march, not a parade.
New York City March: Sunday, June 29
Perhaps the only day of the year when New Yorkers will look out of the windows of Fifth-Avenue shop windows and onto the streets, Sunday, June 29 will put triumph, spectacle and celebration into a blender and pave the streets of New York City with the mix! The 34th Annual Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride March, starting at 12 in the afternoon, launches from 52 St. Street and 5th Ave., continues down the Avenue, and ultimately gathers at Christopher and Greenwich Sts. in the West Village.
Considering the high regard in which they are already held, this year's Grand Marshals, Terrence McNally and Cherry Jones, should feel right at home above the streets, atop a float. McNally, award-winning playwright, has introduced "provocative" and "though-provoking" into the vernacular of gay drama with works such as Love! Valour! Compassion! and the controversial -- albeit riveting -- Corpus Christi. And Jones, the out performer once described as "the high priestess of theater," who nabbed a 1995 Tony Award for her role in The Heiress, continues to act as artistic contributor and role model of success for the community.
Perhaps the only event which makes the streets of New York City's Greenwich Village look like the French Quarter at Mardi Gras, Pridefest 2003 is the just-right reception/festival to house the thousands of marchers and onlookers who eventually spill onto the streets of the Village, post-parade. Vendors sell quirky yet fashionable merchandise, Village shops are open for business as usual, and local bars almost always have Pride-related discounts. Pridefest is also Sunday, June 29th. It begins at 11:00 am and ends at 10:30 pm.
Perhaps Pier 54 was numbered after the infamous dance Studio ... or it is just that the dancers line-up like stars back in the '70s trying to get a good view of the stage? In any case, Dance 17 at Pier 54 is a groundbreaking, street-shaking pure adrenaline rush of music that has become a popular staple of the Pride Festivities. Spinning this year are DJs Brett Henrichsen and Kris Kono. The dance takes place at Pier 54 (13th St. at the Hudson River), on June 29th, starting at 4:00 pm and running until 11:00 pm. Tickets are $50 through June 28th and vary depending upon specialized dance location. Tickets go on sale May 1, 2003 and can be purchased by visiting www.boxofficetickets.com, by calling 808.494.TIXS, or by visiting any participation clothing store locations throughout Manhattan. For a complete list of ticket vendors with addresses, go to www.nycpride.org. Please note: No tickets will be sold at the dance this year.
For more information of any of the events listed above, travel instructions, time/location updates, vendor or volunteer information, please visit the Heritage of Pride site www.nycpride.org or call 212.80.PRIDE. You can also contact NYC Transit for general information regarding all Manhattan travel at 718.330.1234.
A special event celebrating Black Pride will also be held in New York City from August 1-4. For more info, see: www.blackpridenyc.com.
From its current Woodside location, established in May 2001, Queens Pride House (QPH) continues to provide the LBGT Community of the borough with events, programs and resources. QPH hosts a short series of events which conveniently lead into the Queens Pride Parade, taking place the first Sunday in June. On Saturday, May 31, members of the community are urged to bring their appetites for summer eats and penchant for fiesta to the annual Pride BBQ, co-sponsored with GMHC's Proyecto PAPI. The BBQ is from 1:00 to 6:00 pm.
The following Saturday, June 7, get stimulated or inspired by attending an opening reception for "Respecting Queens' Diversity," a month-long art exhibition and series of humanities workshops funded by the Department of Cultural Affairs. The reception commences at 7:00 pm and goes until 9:00 pm. Finally, go from canvas to film at QPH's Monthly Movie Night, Friday, June 13 when they will screen "And the Band Played On." The gripping film -- based on Randy Shilts' equally powerful novel -- examines the AIDS crisis through lenses of media controversy, scientific struggle, deceit, tragedy and triumph; the screening will be from 7:00 to 9:00 pm. For more information on any of these events, or on submitting artwork to the exhibition, call the QPH at 718.429.5309/718.424.4003 or visit their Web site, www.queenspridehouse.org.
Boasting "NYC's Second Largest Pride Event of the season," Brooklyn Pride continues its annual celebration with the Brooklyn Pride Multicultural Festival and Parade at Prospect Park, located on Prospect Park West, Park Slope in Brooklyn. The festival and parade are currently slated for Saturday, June 7th. The evening parade, which begins at 8:00 pm, has a starting location of Bartel-Pritchard Circle (Prospect Park West at 15th Street) and marches up 15th Street to Seventh Avenue, continuing North to Lincoln Place. All who attend the parade are reminded to show their pride throughout the day by enjoying the festival, which begins at 11:00 am at Bartel-Pritchard Circle and along Prospect Park West from 15th St. to 9th St. For those traveling by subway, take the F Train to 15th St./Prospect Park Station. For more information please call The Prospect Park Events Hotline at 718.965.8999. For further details on the festival and parade, visit www.prospectpark.org for travel details and a calendar of events.
Currently celebrating its third birthday, BAAD! (the Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance) is not just a noisy hall, but a 70-seat performance and workshop space in the South Bronx priding itself on being "the only place-based cultural organization which conducts the only cultural LBGT festival the Bronx has ever known." BAAD! conducts four festivals per year, one of which is the pride-themed, electrically-charged OUT LIKE THAT! Festival. OLT! -- running every Friday and Saturday night, from May 31st to June 28th -- is a curiously entertaining mélange of performance, art, and performance art with a common goal of gender-bending transcendence. This year promises an eclectic roster of guests and performances including: drag king Elizabeth "Macha" Marrero; a night of queer male choreographers; a midnight screening of StrangFruitTV, the Bronx queer soap; and "one of the largest queer art exhibitions north of Chelsea." Also look for the tentatively scheduled safe sex/fuck-a-ware party for women, and a sex and men's health workshop and cooking seminar with PlanetOut, as part of the OLT! festivities. For more information on OUT LIKE THAT! or BAAD! log on to www.bronxacademyofartsanddance.org or call 718.842.5223.
Connecticut P.R.I.D.E. is holding its annual New Haven Block Party Festival scheduled for Saturday, June 7th, from noon to 5:00 pm. The event is co-hosted by Candace Gingrich, the Human Rights Campaign's National Coming Out Project Manager, and recording artist Lorrie Wesoly, who has been described as having "the range and power of a Celine Dion, the energy and appeal of Cher" and "a way of reaching her concert audiences on an intimate and often humorous level." Besides its seasoned hostesses, the Block Party also features an all-encompassing list of talented performers including: Miss Spice, Robin Renee, Sister Funk, and the CT Gay Men's Chorus. Festivities will take place against the smart backdrop of New Haven Green, which is conveniently located off of Interstate 91 or 95 (Exit 1), in New Haven, CT. The Official After-Party will be held at the Gotham City Café, starting at 9:00 pm. The Café is located at The Arts and Commerce Building, on the corner of Church and Crown Streets in New Haven.
For more information on the above events including an expanded list of performers and location details, or to learn about Connecticut P.R.I.D.E. and the New Haven Gay and Lesbian Community Center, log on to www.connecticutpride.com. Further information is also slated to be posted about the LGBT Festival scheduled for September 13 at the Riverfront Plaza in Hartford.
Watch your friends bowl and attend a beauty pageant all in the same weekend! No, its not a new Jersey-based reality show ... its Pride Month in NJ! That's right, Asbury Park plays host to New Jersey Pride's 12th Annual Pride Celebration, a weekend-long event stretching from Saturday, May 31st to Sunday, June 1st including a bowling tournament (Pins for Pride) and the Miss and Mr. Gay New Jersey Pageant. The Pride Parade, Festival and Rally will take place (rain or shine) on Sunday June 1st, starting at noon and continuing until 7:00 pm. Headliners include singer Sophie B. Hawkins ("As I Lay Me Down To Sleep") and Suzanne Westenhoefer, comedienne and recording artist. You'll be sharing the experience with over 10,000 people ... and the best part is, no one gets voted off. For further information and updates on any New Jersey Pride event log on to www.jerseypride.org.
James Pergola writes and works in New York City.
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This article was provided by Body Positive. It is a part of the publication Body Positive.