If you haven’t gone to New York City for Pride, this is the year to do it.
In June, New York City will play host to its annual Pride Week, which will coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. On top of that, the state will host the roving WorldPride Event, meaning that the festivities will span some 50+ events across the month, with over 4 million people expected to attend during that time — last year there were just over 2 million according to reports. Yeah, a ton of queers.
“It will be 50 years since an uprising, notably led by transgender individuals and people of color, that began this modern movement,” the co-chairs of Heritage of Pride, Maryanne Roberto Fine and David Studinski write in the preview guide for the event. Their organization will put on 25 official Pride events in New York City. “NYC Pride has invested countless hours of volunteer and staff energy to bring the 2019 event season to life — and we can’t wait to share all the details with you.”
With planning having started back in 2009, the event already boasts Grammy Award winning singer Melissa Etheridge as one of the performers for the free WorldPride closing ceremony to be held in Times Square on June 30. That event will be complemented by a “star-studded” opening ceremony on June 26, Also on the docket is OutCinema, a three-day film festival; a two-day Human Rights Conference; Pride Island, a three-day musical event; a Stonewall 50 commemoration rally; “Geeks Out,” a gay cosplay event; as well as the annual march.
“It’s not a fucking parade,” Billy Porter told reporters, presumably referencing the sometimes lackadaisical attitude some take to Pride. During the march, Porter will serve as a correspondent of ABC’s live broadcast. “It’s a march. We have a message.” Organizers have confirmed that they have built out the grandstands to be as inclusive of differently abled bodies as possible, and that they do anticipate protesters — which have become increasingly popular over the last five years, particularly around the inclusion of police and corporations. But, as they aptly noted, Pride itself, is a protest, and as such is a space for all.
WorldPride is a licensed event that began in 2000 put on by InterPride, an organization internationally comprised of Pride coordinators. In the past WorldPride, has been hosted in Madrid and Toronto. This will mark the first year it has come to the United States and will be a month long celebration that will span New York State. Events will include “Pride on the Beach,” on Long Island June 21-23, where the city will host its own Pride Parade as well as their second annual Pet Pride Parade; and “Pride at the Falls,” on January 5 where Niagara Falls will turn its waters into a representation of the Pride Flag.
Collectively, the events will comprise the “largest LGBTQ+ gathering in our history,” NYC Pride’s managing director Chris Frederick said. So get to booking your hotels! According to organizers, Manhattan options are already reporting 90% occupancy throughout the last two weeks of June, which is when the bulk of the events will take place.