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June 05, 2017

Yay! It's Gay! Pride Events Coming to a Main Street Near You

This article originally ran in the June 2017 issue of AVN magazine. Click here to see the digital magazine. This year gay pride organizations are adding protest marches and rallies to their pride events as people mobilize in cities across the nation—and around the world. #Resist is the operative word this June as LGBT people protest homophobia, xenophobia, transphobia, racism, sexism and any other irrational phobias and isms. Here, a roundup of gay pride events across our beautiful and diverse country. Los Angeles “This year LA Pride is getting back to our roots as a protest organization,” says LA Pride founder Brian Pendleton. “Marches are to protect our rights and parades are for progress!” he says. “This year we are gathering at 8 a.m. on June 11 for the #resistmarch at Hollywood and Highland, the historic location of L.A.’s first Pride Parade in 1970.” Pendelton says, “The LGBTQ+ community will march with our allies to West Hollywood. America has always been at the forefront of human rights and we won’t stop now!” And he wants people to have fun while they’re protesting. “March, rally and then party!” he says. Pendleton says of the march that the protest is “not just LGBTQ+ people, but all Americans. Dreamers will be wrapped in the Rainbow Flag and our unique, diverse and intersectional voices will come together in one harmonized proclamation.” There is still time to get your outrageous outfit together. (And pick up a protest sign at Chi Chi LaRue's shop in West Hollywood.) In addition to the #ResistMarch, LA Pride’s week includes a “Women’s Party” on June 6, a “Trans Party” on June 9, and a celebrity-filled “LGBT night at Dodger Stadium” on June 9. For more information, visit LAPride.org. San Francisco The San Francisco Pride Parade and March will feature 30,000 fab and fierce marchers parading through downtown San Francisco. There will be more than 30 floats and over 100,000 people expected to line the streets. The West Coast home to the gay civil rights movement, San Francisco held its first Pride march in 1970, in response to the police raid on the Stonewall Inn in New York City. By the 1970s the Castro district had become the official “gaybourhood,” and this year’s fun fact is that 2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the “Summer of Love”! The 47th annual San Francisco LGBT Pride Parade takes place Sunday, June 25. The parade kicks off at 10:30 a.m. at Market and Beale, and ends at Market and Eighth streets in downtown San Francisco. For schedule details, visit SFPride.org. Also taking place in San Francisco is A Gay Day In The Park, held in conjunction with the “Lavender-Tinted Glasses, A Groovy Gay Look at the Summer of Love ” exhibition at the GLBT Museum. The Calamus Fellowship presents an “afternoon tribute to the queer movers and shakers who helped created the Summer of Love in 1967.” The free picnic and dance will be held June 18 from noon to 5 p.m. in Golden Gate Park. According to the organizers of the potluck picnic, “Fabulous tie-dye and other LGBTQ hippie looks are encouraged.” New York City Like the city itself, 2017’s Pride celebration is going to be huge, intense and throbbing. The festivities run June 16-25 with the June 23-25 “Pride Weekend” promising a “three-day LGBT cultural experience.” The fun includes everything from stand-up comedy (“gaylarious”), a street fair with vendors and entertainment by LeAnn Rimes, and a gigantic parade featuring perennial marchers like “Dykes With Bikes” and “Straights for Gay Rights.” The street fair, dubbed PrideFest, is going into its 24th year. According to organizers, it is an “annual LGBT street fair that combines vendors, entertainers, and activities for a day of fun and celebration in the name of equality. PrideFest attracts thousands of out-of-state visitors and brings them together with local residents and families.” PrideFest takes place June 25 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Hudson Street between Abingdon Square and West 14th Street. The first march “was held in 1970 and has since become an annual civil rights demonstration,” organizers told us. “Over the years its purpose has broadened to include recognition of the fight against AIDS and to remember those we have lost. The March is a celebration of our lives and community. In 2016 we were joined by 350 unique marching contingents, including community organizations, corporate sponsors, and political candidates, and activists! With over 55 floats making the trek down Fifth Avenue, last year’s March was one of the largest and most exciting in history.” The march kicks off at noon on June 25, beginning at 36th Street and Fifth Avenue and ending on Christopher and Greenwich streets. And if that isn’t fun enough, there are rooftop parties with soaring New York City views, three “Pride Island” events on the waterfront pier with entertainment that includes Patti LaBelle and Tegan & Sara, and “The Rally,” where speakers get to speak their mind about the current political ridiculousness. Tickets can be purchased online at Showclix.com for “Female Centric” and “Male Centric” events. For more information on all events, go to NYCPride.org. Orlando It’s a month of pool parties, “gay days” at Disney’s Magic Kingdom, and a giant gay expo at the Double Tree Hilton Orlando at Sea World. ‘With over 20,000 + attendees in 2014, the GayDays Orlando Expo is one of the largest gay and lesbian expos in the world and a great place to meet new friends,” organizers say. And you’ll actually meet people the old-fashioned way: in person, unlike Grindr! There is also a “Miss Gay Day” beauty pageant hosted by Coco Montrese and ChiChi LaRue, and a “Mr. Gay Day Leather Competition where contestants will compete in “Pecs and Personality,” “Formal Leather,” and of course “Jocks!” Visit GayDays.com for information. Gay Pride Across the USA Wherever you may be gay, lesbian, bisexual, gender queer, gender fluid, transgender, trigender, asexual, polysexual, pansexual, or just “whatever,” practically every city in the U.S. has something going on in June. It’s a month to be proud of whatever and whoever you are. Visit GayPrideCalendar.com/june.

 
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