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events worth checking out this pride month

With the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, this year’s celebrations are more important than ever. Here's our guide to a few of London and New York's pride events.

by Liam Hess
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07 June 2019, 11:08am

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In 2019, the annual celebrations and acts of remembrance for LGBT+ people that take place throughout June -- now officially consecrated as International Pride Month -- carry a deeper significance.

50 years ago, at the end of June in 1969, the queer community of Greenwich Village fought back against a police raid at gay bar The Stonewall Inn, in turn kickstarting the gay liberation movement and the evolution of LGBT+ rights in the West. It’s a story we will be diving into throughout the month with i-D’s 50 Years of Stonewall series: exploring what the legacy of Stonewall means today, while also considering how far the queer community has come and how far we have to go.

We’ve rounded up the most important events taking place in both London and New York this month, from those that celebrate the community’s progress, to those that commemorate LGBT+ heroes from across the decades. Find our picks below.

Pride: From Stonewall to the Present
11th June, 8pm
The Pilot Pub, Chiswick, London

If you’re looking for something a little quieter than the big parades, get down to this pub in Chiswick next week, where former Attitude editor Matthew Todd will be talking about his new book, Pride: from Stonewall to the Present. With his previous book Straight Jacket receiving critical acclaim for its nuanced exploration of queerness and mental health, his latest explores the history of the LGBT+ equality movement with similar rigour and thoughtfulness. If you’re looking to learn more about the relationship between Stonewall and the Pride movement today, it’s the perfect place to start.

Pulse Remembrance Day
12th June, evening
LGBTQ Memorial, Hudson River Park, NYC

While Pride month is largely about celebrating progress, it’s also an opportunity to reflect on our queer forebears martyred across the decades just for being who they are. Few events in recent memory have been as devastating for the community as the mass shooting that took place at Pulse nightclub in Orlando in June 2016, midway through that year’s Pride Month. With vigils held across the world for the 49 victims killed in the tragedy, there is a memorial in the works for Orlando, as well as a smaller sculptural monument that opened last summer in Manhattan’s Hudson River Park. While there isn’t any official word on any formal event to commemorate Pulse just yet, you can be sure that on Pulse Remembrance Day, you will find queer people coming together here to celebrate the lives lost.

Pride’s Got Talent Cabaret Final
16th June, 6.30-10.30pm
Apollo Theatre, Shaftesbury Ave, London

The annual Pride’s Got Talent competition has become one of London’s most exciting showcases for queer talent, with industry-recognised judges on hand to guide finalists and winners onto the next stage of their careers. This year promises to be no different, with the finale for this year’s cabaret acts taking place at the Apollo Theatre in London’s West End. Placing a firm emphasis on diversity, it’s the ideal place to go if you fancy scoping out the next big thing on London’s queer scene. Who knows, in a few years the winner might be selling out the very same venue as a headliner.

OutCinema
17th - 19th June
SVA Theatre, W 23rd St, NYC

If you’re in the market for something a little more creatively stimulating over in New York, look no further than OutCinema: a three-day mini film festival organised by WorldPride NYC in collaboration with legendary LGBT+ film festival NewFest. With a line-up that includes a documentary about the legendary drag festival Wigstock starring Lady Bunny, the Sundance-premiered comedy Adam, and a film exploring ball culture in Manchester, UK, it’s aiming to provide as broad a picture of queer life today as possible. And for those looking to let their hair (or wigs) down after an evening in the cinema, there are plenty of after-parties too.

Stonewall 50 Year Commemoration
28th June, 6pm
Christopher Street and Waverly Place, NYC

The first pride rally was held just one month after the Stonewall uprising, with annual events happening every June from 1969 onwards. Where better to celebrate this momentous event than at the bar itself? On the eve of the riots, 50 years on, WorldPride NYC will be holding a rally outside The Stonewall Inn that will also include speeches and performers from some of the city’s most important LGBT+ icons. If you’re looking for something more politically charged and less corporate than the city-wide Pride march two days later, this is the event to go to.

Pride Prom
29th June, 7-11pm

While there are a whole host of events taking place in the bars and clubs of London and New York’s gaybourhoods throughout Pride month, the 18+ door policy means younger members of the queer community can often feel unwelcome. Thankfully, the pioneering LGBT+ youth centre Mosaic in London has come up with a solution: an alcohol-free Pride prom that is now celebrating its fifth anniversary. This year, the event is circus-themed -- so for under-18s in the queer community, it’s time to get your outfits ready. It promises to be a prom night like no other.

G•Spot Festival
29th June, 2-9pm
Secret location, NYC

For something more spirited, don’t miss G•Spot Festival in New York -- an all-day event cooked up by Rio Uribe, the founder and creative director of cult queer label Gypsy Sport. With a programme featuring art, fashion, film, DJs, drag and panel discussions from activists like Aaron Philip and Munroe Bergdorf, the organisers describe it as a safe space where “individuality and self-expression are highly encouraged”. Oh, and if you get there for 4pm, you can catch i-D’s latest film Respect Your LGBT+ Elders , featuring eyewitnesses from the Stonewall riots. Surely that’s worth the trip alone?

Queer Liberation March
30th June, 9.30am
7th Avenue and Christopher Street, NYC

As another alternative to the Pride march taking place on the same day, there’s also the Queer Liberation March, which is held annually as a response to the event which many in the queer community see as having been compromised by corporate floats and a heavy police presence. For those opposed to the exploitation of the LGBT+ community by both corporate and state forces, you can find like-minded compatriots here.

UK Black Pride
7th July, times TBD
Haggerston Park, London

For those hoping to find an alternative to the corporate pinkwashing of Pride on the other side of the pond, there’s a London-based march that centres and celebrates the contributions to the queer community from people of colour. Growing year upon year, it’s a safe space for black LGBT+ and QTIPOC to express themselves outside of the main London Pride parade, and has relocated this time around to Haggerston Park in east London to accommodate the increasing numbers of revellers.