June is almost over, which means Pride Weekend 2022 is finally upon us. Between the perfect weather forecast (high 80s!) and all the marches and celebrations happening across the five boroughs, the city is bound to feel electric all weekend. Below, check out some of the highlights to look out for.
Friday, June 24th, 7 p.m., Tompkins Square Park
Pride Weekend 2022 kicks off with the annual Drag March. It started in 1994 after the main Pride March banned drag queens, leathermen and anyone else who might bug the corporate sponsors. In protest, the late Gilbert Baker (designer of the Rainbow Flag), Brian Griffin (a.k.a. Harmonie Moore Must Die) and the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence organized this alternate event.
It's always filled with loud music, dancing and catchy chants, and is generally kink-friendly. If you're looking for an event with the highest concentration of bizarre, sexy and unforgettable outfits, this is the one to check out.
The event begins around 7 p.m. at Tompkins Square Park, and the march will start at about 8 p.m. and will end at the historic Stonewall Inn. Learn more here.
HARLEM PRIDE CELEBRATION DAY
Saturday, June 25th, noon, West 135th Street/12th Avenue
Harlem Pride started in 2010 as an opportunity to celebrate the LGBT+ community and its contributions to Harlem's history. They have a Main Stage Show and a DJ Stage, and the event is billed as family-friendly, with activities including face painting and Drag Queen Story Hour for children.
In addition to the celebrations, organizers write that the event "serves as our greatest opportunity to disseminate information and provide services to our constituents, including referrals for health, legal and financial services, and on-the-spot testing for communicable diseases."
Harlem Pride starts at 12th Avenue and West 135th Street at noon on Saturday and goes until 6 p.m. You can get more info here.
DYKE MARCH 2022
Saturday, June 25th, 5 p.m., Bryant Park
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Dyke March, which has long been an un-permitted, sponsor-free protest march. The NYPD is not invited as well; instead, volunteers are charged with blocking traffic and running crowd control. The atmosphere is always a blast, and last year's event was "rowdy, joyous, slightly disbelieving, and festive as hell," per our coverage.
Organizers write that "thousands of Dykes take the streets each year in celebration of our beautiful and diverse Dyke lives, to highlight the presence of Dykes within our community, and in protest of the discrimination, harassment, and violence we face in schools, on the job, and in our communities."
The March kicks off at 5 p.m. on Saturday at Bryant Park and runs down 5th Avenue to Washington Square Park. You can get more info here.
THE QUEER LIBERATION MARCH
Sunday, June 26th, 1 p.m., Foley Square
Helmed by the Reclaim Pride Coalition, The Queer Liberation March and Rally was started as a response to the corporatization of the annual Pride Parade, as well as the increase in police presence at that event. Organizers write, "Overflowing with corporate floats and at the service of corporate money, the Pride Parade had become a new symbol of gay for pay. The imposition of barricades along the parade route separated the participants from its audience, turning the Pride March into an entertainment venue instead of a true expression of our cultural legacy."
This year's event will start at Foley Square at 1 p.m. on Sunday, and will go until around 5:30 p.m. Get more info here.
PRIDE MARCH 2022
Sunday, June 26th, noon, 25th Street/5th Avenue
The NYC Pride March is the biggest event of the weekend, and tends to draw about four million people into the streets to commemorate the Stonewall Riots. But it's been severely curtailed in recent years because of COVID-19.
In 2020, the Pride March was cancelled for the first time in its history because of the pandemic. Last year, the in-person march had limited capacity, and most of the events were staged virtually. But with everything fully in-person once again, the 2022 march is bound to draw a huge turnout.
This year's NYC Pride Grand Marshals are Saturday Night Live cast member Punkie Johnson; ACLU attorney Chase Strangio; social media star Ts Madison; transgender former NCAA swimmer Schuyler Bailar; and Okra Project Executive Director Dominique Morgan. For the second consecutive year, Pose actress Angelica Ross will return as co-host and performer.
The march will start by Madison Square Park at 25th Street and 5th Avenue at noon on Sunday. It then proceeds south on 5th Avenue before heading west on 8th Street. After crossing 6th Avenue, it continues on Christopher Street (going by the Stonewall National Monument) and then heads north up 7th Avenue and ends around 16th Street. You can get more info on the route here.
For anyone who doesn't feel comfortable in big crowds yet, the march will also be televised on ABC from noon to 3 p.m.
And there are a ton of official Pride March spinoff events all weekend, including Youth Pride (a celebration of LGBTQIA+ and ally teens on Saturday at 1 p.m. at Rumsey Playfield in Central Park); Pride Island (taking place Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. on Governor's Island); PrideFest (an LGBTQIA+ street fair taking place at 11 a.m. in Greenwich Village on Sunday); Bliss Days (a celebration of LGBTQIA+ Womxn, taking place Sunday at 2 p.m. at Harbor Rooftop); and more. Get more info about these events here.