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The Long Island Press

L.I. LGBT Community Mourns Orlando Shooting Victims

A rainbow flag, the gay pride symbol, flapping in the wind. (Photo by Ludovic Bertron)

By Rashed Mian, Ana Borruto and Leo Capobianco

From the steps of the Nassau County’s legislative building to a gay refuge in Bay Shore and an inconspicuous office space in Bellmore, hundreds of people from the LGBT community joined civic and religious leaders on Long Island Monday evening for vigils memorializing the dozens of lives lost in Orlando this weekend in yet another mass slaying on American soil.

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Some mourners were inconsolable—unwilling or physically unable to relinquish embraces from friends and strangers alike as they came to grips with an attack on a community that is so often the target of bigotry and historically condemned for living life as they see fit. Others silently locked hands and wiped away tears as the names of the 49 victims of Sunday’s Pulse nightclub shooting, many of them with ubiquitous Hispanic surnames, were read aloud. The local vigils represented just a handful of the dozens that took place around the world (photos below).

“Stanley Almodovar III…Amanda Alvear…Juan Chevez-Martinez…Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz.” The list seemingly went on forever.

The youngest victim, Akyra Monet Murray, was 18 years old.

There was a palpable feeling Monday that the massacre—the largest mass shooting in U.S. history and biggest terror attack since 9/11—was deeply personal, that any of those grieving could have very well been a victim of a madman’s apparent homophobic assault on a gay nightclub, one of the few public venues where the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community feel safe from persecution or physical attacks.

The day of mourning came as more details emerged about the killer, Omar Mateen, who briefly lived in Westbury before moving to Florida, according to reports. But the torrent of details brought more questions than answers.

What emerged was a complicated and incomplete portrait of a man who previously fell on the FBI’s radar but was never arrested and therefore able to legally purchase an AR-15 assault rifle just days before the massacre. Adding to the confusion, authorities revealed that Mateen contacted police amid the bloodbath to pledge allegiance to an Islamic State (ISIS) leader and expressed solidarity with a suicide bomber from Al-Nursa Front, a rival terror group, as well as the Boston Marathon bombers.


“Don’t pray for us, don’t cry for us, make change happen for us.”


Finally, and most bizarre, were reports that the FBI was investigating whether Mateen—who was ultimately killed by a SWAT team—was gay himself, a frequent visitor to the very nightclub he terrorized, and a gay dating app user.

And while authorities acknowledged that Mateen seemed to have been radicalized online, it was unclear whether he was motivated solely by extremist Islamic leanings, suffered from mental illness, or if a toxic combination of psychological issues and anti-American sentiment provoked such a virulent and unimaginable outburst.

During an unrelated news conference in Freeport Monday, U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer, a Democrat, said there was no evidence that Mateen coordinated with ISIS prior to carrying out the attack.

“He was the classic ‘lone wolf,’” Schumer told reporters.

To those gathering at vigils sprinkled across the Island Monday evening, the motivation for such a brutal and merciless assault was unequivocally homophobic. As it has so often in the past, hate once again turned its sights on the LGBT community.

‘THIS WAS LIKE KILLING MY CHILDREN’

About four hours before Mateen’s mass murder, about 200 people spent their Saturday night at Pride For Youth in Bellmore for the LGBT advocacy group’s “Pride After Dark” party.

The night was replete with dance and music, with entertainment provided by RuPaul’s Drag Race star Jiggly Caliente Brooks. It was an opportunity for LGBT youth to celebrate being who they are. By all accounts it was a joyous occasion.

Staffers remained at work late into the evening to tidy up the spot—not an easy task considering the large number of young people letting loose. Little did they know that they’d spend the next day, a scheduled day off, planning a memorial service.

“We woke up on Sunday to this tragedy,” Pete Carney, director of Pride for Youth, told dozens of people gathered for a vigil at the organization’s homey Bellmore office.

Standing atop a stage, Carney told those in attendance that he spent most of Sunday stricken with grief and sadness.

“For too many LGBTQ individuals living here on Long Island and throughout our community and throughout the country, LGBTQ nightclubs, bars, community centers are oftentimes the only place where we know we can be safe, where we have that 100-percent guarantee,” said Carney, who, despite the intense wave of emotions, kept his composure.

It’s not easy for the LGBT community to find a safe place to congregate, to be themselves, to be gay or lesbian or transgender, he said.

“They came into our sanctuary and took something from us,” Carney told the audience. “They came through our walls and our safety and stole something.”

After a few speakers and an inspirational rendition of “Amazing Grace,” Carney opened the floor to anyone who felt compelled to speak out—and those who took up his offer said they wouldn’t let pervasive anti-gay rhetoric and the threat of violence keep them down.

Speaking to the enormous challenges the community has faced throughout the years—lack of acceptance, omnipresent hate crimes, the HIV/Aids epidemic, the fight for the right to marry, and so much more—one man crystallized the tenaciousness of the gay rights movement’s swelling ranks.

“If fear stopped us, we wouldn’t be where we are today,” he said.

Less than 20 miles away in Bay Shore, a crowd of several hundred people stood under a gentle blue sky in the parking lot of the LGBT Network‘s community center for a candlelight vigil in solidarity with the victims of the Orlando massacre.

Mourners dressed in vibrant colors as they waved rainbow flags, and once the sun set, a thousand candles illuminated the night sky. LGBT residents of all ages offered each other shoulders to cry on. Parents came to support their gay and lesbian children—many of whom were not alive for mass attacks upon the gay community. Partners embraced while the mass joined together in song.

Rusty Rose teared up when she considered the early morning attack in Orlando.

“This was like killing my children,” she said.

As in Bellmore, mourners took turns expressing their sorrow.


“People are not born homophobic and hating us. People are raised that way.”


David Kilmnick, LGBT Network’s CEO, said the attack was nothing more than an act of hate against all LGBT people. It also serves as “wake up call” for the entire country, he said, listing the many ways hate has infiltrated communities.

“This should be a call to the entire country to join together, to fight hate and discrimination against all races, against all ethnicities, all religion, all sexual orientations and gender identities,” Kilmnick, a long time advocate, told the teary-eyed crowd.

Xander Simon, a 17-year-old LGBT youth leader, while addressing the crowd, recognized that some people may be overcome with feelings of hopelessness. But, Simon said, the best way to overcome the tragedy is by uniting as one.

“Though you may not have the power to donate, whether it be blood or money,” Simon continued, “you always have one thing: the power to love.”

Joanne Borden, a 91-year-old transgender woman and advocate, spoke of love and acceptance.

“People must be able to learn that we are just like everyone else,” Borden said. “God made us this way, so he must have intended for us to be this way.”

LGBT voices throughout the Island lamented the political squabbling the erupted after the shooting, but many felt compelled to stand up for Muslim Americans who have once again been demonized because of the assailant’s Muslim background.

At the Bay Shore vigil, Hafiz Ur Rehman, commissioner of Suffolk County’s Human Rights Commission, could barely speak he was so overcome with emotion. The shooter, he declared, does not represent the majority of Muslims who consider the ideology of groups like ISIS anathema to the religion.

“Omar Mateen is not a Muslim,” Rehman said. “Don’t paint all Muslims with the same brush.”

In Nassau, Isma Chaudhry, president of the Islamic Center of Long Island, could hardly contain her frustration.

“We take two steps forward—then ‘Boom,’” Chaudhry said when reached by phone.

The first female president of the ICLI, Chaudhry noted that the congregation said a prayer for all the victims during Sunday service, adding that the visiting Imam offered a passionate rebuke of bigotry and violence.

When asked about Mateen’s LI roots, Chaudhry said the mosque examined its records and found that the shooter’s father was never a member of the ICLI, nor was he actively involved in the community. There was no way to tell if he ever prayed at the mosque, however, Chaudhry admitted.

Also on Monday, Nassau County police said they increased patrols around houses of worship and LGBT centers in the wake of the attack. The department’s community affairs liaison also reached out to the ICLI, acting police commissioner Thomas Krumpter said.

Chaudhry said the ICLI requested an increased police presence following the attacks out of concern that vandals would once again target the mosque, as they did following the San Bernardino shooting in December.

“I’m going to make this very clear: Any kind of bias crime, any kind of hate crime regardless of the hate crime, whether it’s based on religion, based on your sexual preference, anything, will not be tolerated here in Nassau County,” Krumpter said at a press conference Monday highlighting the department’s preparation in the event a similar attack occurred in Nassau.

Suffolk County police said they had also bolstered patrols and added additional security measures at LGBT centers.

Authorities in both counties implored the public to reach out if see something suspicious, whether on social media or in public.

“If something doesn’t look right, it probably isn’t,” said Suffolk Police Commissioner Tim Sini.

Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano urged residents who come across curious posts on social media to take a screenshot and text the message to authorities via the Nassau Crime Stoppers mobile app.

Meanwhile, LGBT leaders on the Island used the occasion to condemn anti-gay rhetoric and discriminatory comments toward transgender people, which could foster hate.

At a separate vigil outside Nassau County’s Theodore Roosevelt Executive Building in Mineola, Gaitley Stevenson-Mathews of Glen Cove said anti-LGBT legislation could breed intolerance.

“I think it does empower people to do hateful acts,” said Stevenson-Matthews, who moments earlier presented a Pride flag that was subsequently flown over the building. “I would say ‘Yes,’ on some level it does make a difference when people feel emboldened by legislation that singles out one group of people.”

In Bellmore, Carney appeared to grow impatient with Nassau County’s refusal to include transgender people in an existing anti-discrimination law, adding that he woke up Monday “angry” with the political discourse.

“[I’m] angry that their politicians who want to use this to battle each other, angry that there are those in the broader community that want to focus on buzz worlds like ‘terrorism’ and ‘Islamic fundamentalism’ and the usual language that we know, is put out there to divide us further,” he said. “Angry that people have used this as an excuse to tell us that we should fight for our arms and fight for the exact weapons that were used to take us down. Angry that there are those who want to erase us in this experience.

“The LGBT community has been attacked,” Carney continued. “This is a hate crime and that is what we do know. Hate crimes don’t just happen in our country. People are not born homophobic and hating us. People are raised that way…we need to start holding people accountable for their words. We need to no longer give a pass to those who claim culture, faith, whatever it may be, gives them a right to disparage us…because when we allow that to happen we create a world where people don’t value us, don’t value our bodies, don’t value our ability to live in this world. We need to in this community push back against homophobia.”

Speaking to the crowd at Pride For Youth, Carney encouraged the community to parlay their sadness into action by calling their respective county legislators and demanding change.

“Don’t pray for us, don’t cry for us, make change happen for us,” he said.

Earlier in the day, Kilmnick summed up the feelings of LGBT leaders who believe anti-discrimination laws for transgender people are long overdue.

“Enough is enough,” Kilmnick said.

THERE WAS AN OUTPOURING OF SUPPORT GLOBALLY FOR VICTIMS OF THE RAMPAGE

Star Wars Character Impersonators a Hit at Long Island Comic Con

By Joseph Nuzzo

Eternal Con, Long Island’s annual comic book and sci-fi convention, returned to the Cradle of Aviation Museum in Garden City this weekend, but some used the fun and games to do good.

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Among the cosplay, sci-fi celebrity meet-and-greets and comics booths were members of the Rebel Legion, a group fans who bring Star Wars characters to life with highly detailed costumes and make appearances at children’s hospitals, walk-a-thons, libraries and charity events.

“When a child looks at you, and you know that the child believes you are this character, it takes my breath away, to have that moment of happiness with a child,” Rebel Legion member Christine Evans, who bears an uncanny resemblance to actress Carrie Fisher, said while in costume as Princess Leia. “That is the type of joy we need in the world.”

The all-volunteer group makes appearances upon request, free of charge. Their only request, in return, is a donation made in the name of the Rebel Legion to a charity the group supports. Among those causes are education and assisting museums in teaching children about the science in science fiction.

Joe Imholte, director of Special Exhibits at the Science Museum of Minnesota, attested to their authenticity.

Christine Evans, a member of The Rebel Legion, dressed as Princess Leia at Eternal Con in Garden City, N.Y. (Photo by Joe Nuzzo)
Christine Evans, a member of The Rebel Legion, dressed as Princess Leia at Eternal Con in Garden City, N.Y. (Photo by Joe Nuzzo)

“The Rebel Legion’s members added an incalculable value to The Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination exhibit,” Imholte said in a statement. “Their personal interactions with visitors to the museum were a huge overall plus to the visitor experience. The exhibit would not have been the success it was without their involvement.”

Characters such as Evans really get into the part, since they have deep personal connections to the roles they play.

“My strongest memory of my childhood is seeing Star Wars for the first time when I was 5 years old,” Evans told the Press. “I remember lying in the backseat of my parents Ford LTD on the way home, looking up at the stars, looking for the Millennium Falcon.”

She later pretended to be Princess Leia while playing in her backyard. So it was a natural fit when a friend who was moving out of town asked her to take over her role as Princess Leia in The Rebel Legion.

Throughout the day both children and adults lined up to take a quick photo with Evan’s Princess Leia. It was easy to spot the joy on children’s faces as they posed with this beloved Star Wars character. To the children, there could be no doubt she was the real deal.

To find out more about becoming involved in The Rebel Legion or to book them for a charity or educational event, visit them online at rebellegion.com

Eternal Con: The Long Island Comic Con returned to the Cradle of Aviation Museum this weekend (photos by Joe Nuzzo)
Eternal Con: The Long Island Comic Con returned to the Cradle of Aviation Museum this weekend (photos by Joe Nuzzo)

Calls for Ethics Reform Get Louder on Long Island

The New York State Capitol Builsing in Albany.

By Timothy Bolger and Michael Harris

Advocates and citizens frustrated with the avalanche of corruption scandals on Long Island and elsewhere in the state are rallying around the issue and organizing grassroots efforts aimed at pressuring lawmakers to be more ethical and transparent.

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Local good government groups picketed last week outside the Long Island office of New York State Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan (R-Smithtown), urging him to allow passage of ethics reforms for Albany lawmakers before the legislative session ends Thursday, June 16. And a New York City-based nonprofit last week announced that it’s suing LI municipalities that fail to turn over financial documents in a statewide citizen-led transparency initiative recently started in Nassau and Suffolk counties.

“In recent years we’ve watched as dozens of elected officials have been indicted, convicted or forced to leave under a cloud of suspicion,” Brandon Muir, executive director of Reclaim New York, told reporters last Tuesday during a news conference in Mineola. “Corruption does not discriminate. It impacts local government, state government, public authorities, school districts, Republicans as well as Democrats.”

Last year, the nonprofit Center for Public Integrity gave New York State a D- grade for transparency and accountability in its annual national State Integrity Investigation report card.

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Recent corruption scandals on LI include disgraced state Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre), who’s appealing his December corruption conviction; ex-Suffolk County Police Chief James Burke, who pleaded guilty in February to beating a suspect and covering it up; former Suffolk County Conservative Party Chairman Edward Walsh, who’s appealing his March conviction on charges of stealing from his job as a corrections lieutenant; plus an Town of Oyster Bay official who admitted to federal tax evasion in January and a restaurateur accused of bribing officials from the same town last year. In addition, Chief Deputy Nassau County Executive Rob Walker testified at Skelos’ trial that Walker is under federal investigation for awarding contracts to campaign donors and Burke’s case led federal authorities to reportedly investigate the office of Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota, sparking calls for Spota to resign.

To turn the tide, banner-waving activists with nonprofits Common Cause, Jobs with Justice, the Long Island Civic Engagement Table, the Long Island Progressive Coalition and Move-On.org gathered outside Majority Leader Flanagan’s office on June 7 to urge him to pass campaign finance reform. Specifically, they back a perennially proposed state bill to close the so-called LLC Loophole that allows wealthy owners of Limited Liability Companies to skirt individual campaign donation limits.

State law prohibits most corporations from donating more than $5,000 to a political candidate or campaign, but individuals can donate as much as $60,800 to statewide candidates, $16,800 to state Senate hopefuls and $8,200 to those running for the state Assembly. But under current state law, LLCs are treated as individuals, not corporations. And it is not uncommon for a person or a company to control more than one LLC—enabling virtually limitless political giving.

“Long Island as a region has 22 percent of the political power in New York State,” said Victoria Daza, an organizer with Long Island Jobs with Justice. “It is of great concern to the growing but unrepresented working class communities of Long Island that many of our elected leaders are more concerned with appeasing their funders than representing their constituents.”

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who backs making LLCs subject to the same campaign limits as corporations, also wants the state Legislature to limit outside income for legislators, pension forfeiture for convicted officials, raising legislator’s compensation to full-time employment, and public financing of campaigns, among other proposals.

“The legislature has a choice: lead on reform or perpetuate the status quo,” Cuomo said last Wednesday during a speech at Fordham University Law School in Manhattan. “Before the Legislature departs next week, I urge them in the strongest possible terms to pass real ethics reform that sends a clear message: In New York democracy rules and, the voice of the people matters.”

Immediately afterward, Sen. Flanagan issued a statement supporting some of the ethics reform package, such as enacting a “strong pension forfeiture measure that penalizes public officials convicted of a felony in relation to their public duties,” but didn’t commit to closing the LLC Loophole or the other proposals.

The reason for the push-pull over the LLC Loophole, as Skelos’s attorney explained during his trial, is because it largely benefits business-friendly Republicans, who routinely make an alternative proposal, cracking down on the types of donors that give to Democrats, which results in a legislative stalemate on the issue.

In doing so, Flanagan urged passage of legislation to “move more aggressively against straw donors and stop non-profits who flout transparency and donate unlimited sums to directly support a politician’s agenda.”

The state Assembly, which has a large Democratic majority, has repeatedly passed LLC Loophole closure legislation, but it never gets called up for a vote in the historically GOP-led state Senate. Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D-Bronx) has signaled that the bill will pass his chamber again. Activists were pressuring Flanagan to let it pass the Senate, too. But he’s reportedly called the loophole amendment a “red herring.”

“We are at a crucial moment in state politics,” said Lisa Tyson, director of the Long Island Progressive Coalition, outside Flanagan’s Smithtown office. “We have the opportunity to pass real reforms to take on the corruption that threatens our democracy. Instead of championing these reforms, Senator Flanagan’s actions are just another road-block to legislation that would restore faith in our election system. The LLC loophole is the first of many needed reforms that the Senate must act on.”

Citing a Sienna College poll released in May that found 97 percent of New Yorkers believe it is important for Cuomo and the state Legislature to pass laws addressing corruption before the session ends, Reclaim New York’s Muir said his group launched an initiative to build a database tracking taxpayer-funded expenditures by local municipalities.

“Many believe that another round of ethics legislation in Albany is the answer, but three such laws have been passed in just the last six years, to little effect,” Muir said. “What New York lacks is local, citizen-driven oversight.”

To that end, his group has organized citizens to file Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) requests seeking spending records from every county, town, village and school district statewide. On LI, the region they started with, most municipalities complied, but the group is suing three of about 50 government entities that refused to turn over records. They include the Town of Oyster Bay, the Manhasset School District and the Elmont School District.

Will the effort work? Will Albany pass ethics reform? And will lawmakers in New York State regain the trust of their constituents?

As Preet Bharara, the Manhattan federal prosecutor who oversaw Skelos’ conviction would say, “Stay tuned.”

—With additional reporting by Olivia Booth

‘Love Letters’ Raising Funds for Northport Theater Summer Camp

By Luis Centeno

Love Letters, the Pulitzer Prize-winning drama by playwright A.R. Gurney, will debut at the Northport-East Northport Community Theater this weekend for a special one-night-only show to raise funds for the theater’s summer camp.

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The play, billed as an amusing, heartwarming and poignant two-person performance, stars local actors, Dr. Larry Palevsky of the Northport Wellness Center and Stephanie Sultana, as the star-crossed lovers. Proceeds from the performance will help pay for the theater’s camp in which local students in grades 2 to 12 produce and perform in their own musicals in July and August. This summer, they’ll put on Grease and The Lion King.

“All of our fundraisers are for the betterment of the community,” said Bette Silver, founder of the camp and the theater. “We try to keep kids busy and off the streets.”

In addition to the camp, the nonprofit theater produces shows in spring and fall, such as recent productions of Mary Poppins, Les Misérables and Annie. Proceeds routinely go to charitable causes. This year, the camp includes a special after-school program for theater enthusiasts for high school and college students.

Unlike most theaters, this one focuses on bringing in local talent, including those with acting experience as well as those willing to learn more about show business by working on a stage crew, in costuming or lighting. The theater welcome adults and children of all ages, talent levels and abilities, including individuals with special needs, said Michelle Centamore, whose family is also involved in the theater.

Silver, who is also the director of the live orchestra, admits that though it is a tough task at times, but she takes pleasure in giving back to the community while simultaneously putting on a memorable show.

Love Letters premieres at 8 p.m. June 18 at the St. Paul’s Methodist Church, 270 Main St., Northport. Tickets are $25. After the event, there will be live music and a silent auction with prizes worth up to $300. For more information visit northportcommunitytheater.org

LI LGBT Community Defiant In Wake Of Orlando Terror Attack

A rainbow flag, the gay pride symbol, flapping in the wind. (Photo by Ludovic Bertron)

By Rashed Mian and Christopher Twarowski

With the nation reeling in the wake of the largest mass shooting in U.S. history and biggest terror attack since 9/11, members of the Long Island LGBT community expressed sorrow, solidarity and defiance Sunday, resolving to honor those murdered by refusing to allow hatred to alter their way of life.

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At least 50 people were murdered early Sunday morning at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., known as a hotspot for the Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual and Transgender (LGBT) community, when a gunman opened fire with an assault rifle. The attacker, Omar Mateen, 29, of Port Saint Lucie, allegedly declared allegiance to Islamist terror group ISIS during the assault, according to still-developing news reports.

In an address to the nation Sunday afternoon, President Barack Obama characterized the massacre as an attack against all Americans and the subject of an open investigation by federal law enforcement agencies.

“This was an act of terror, and an act of hate,” he said. “This could have been any one of our communities.”

The killings are a “reminder that attacks on any American…is an attack on all of us,” continued Obama, stating that no act “of hate or terror will ever change who we are.”

“In the face of hate and violence, we will love one another,” he added. “We will stand together as Americans.”

More than 300 members and supporters of the local LGBT community showed unity with victims and their families, taking their defiance of fear and prejudice to the streets of Sayville in a “Visibility Walk” Sunday afternoon, carrying signs, pride flags and wearing rainbow-colored sashes.

Collectively, they vowed to stand united in the face of violence and bigotry.

Dean Carter, 23, a member of the LGBT group Pride For Youth, who moved from Orlando to Uniondale last year, told the Press that though he’d heard rumors of Orlando as being a potential terror target in the past, the news of the bloodbath at the gay club still hit him as a surprise.

“To me, it’s kind of shocking, because people always say, ‘Orlando is a target,’ but, Orlando has never actually been the target of a terror attack, and usually, it’s aimed at Disney [World],” he said in a parking lot across from the Visibility Walk’s starting point, the Sayville LIRR train station. “For it to be aimed at a gay club…is kind of shocking to me.”

Carter’s grandparents reside near Pulse nightclub, which he described as one of the most popular gay clubs in the city. Obama characterized the club as a “place of solidarity and empowerment” in his remarks, a sentiment echoed by others at the first-of-its-kind walk in Sayville Sunday.

“Many of the gathering spots for our community are rooted in nightclubs and bars,” explained Erin Furey, a founding member of LGBTQA+ Visibility Coalition, a local gay and transgender advocacy rights group, after the parade.

Furey lamented the lack of “safe places” for the LGBT community nationwide.

“We live in a world, a country, and on an island, where trying to find a safe place is of dire importance,” she said.

That void–and anti-gay rhetoric–breeds intolerance, she continued.

“It really circles back to what happened today, because when social institutions and laws and governments, and people with a lot of influence, send a larger message that LGBT people are not okay, it does allow people to justify horrific acts of violence,” added Furey.

David Kilmnick, CEO of LGBT Network, an LI-based gay rights group, stressed the need for tougher legislation protecting this community.

“The deplorable act of violence that targeted the LGBT community and stole 50 lives and left scores of others injured, is a painful reminder of the gate and bias that continues to plague our country,” he said in a statement following the attack. “Our hearts and minds are joined with all the family, friends, and loved ones who are mourning today.”

Joanna Morena, of Ronkonkoma, another co-founder of LGBTQA+ Visibility Coalition, told the Press she woke up to the horrific news of the massacre via social media, and immediately called her mother, who was in tears.

The full significance of Sunday’s “Visibility Walk” and the full weight of the attack hit Morena and her wife hard as she drove to Sayville to join the march.

“It just hit home how important walks like this are,” she explained. “To really be visible, be out, even informally, because, as far as far as we’ve come as a community, our transgender brothers and sisters are still without basic protections, and still, unfortunately, and apparently, still subject to attacks.”

“When a tragedy like this happens,” she added, “we need to be together.”

With No Triple Crown Hopeful, Smaller Crowd Expected at 2016 Belmont Stakes

American Pharoah wins 2015 Belmont Stakes

By John Dundon

Every summer since 1904, crowds have stampeded to Belmont Park in Elmont to see the Belmont Stakes—the weekend-long horse racing festival that aficionados dubbed the “test of the champion.”

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The championship track—1.5 miles of brown dirt, contrasting starkly with the some of the greenest infield grass around—is the final leg in the quest for horse racing’s Triple Crown, one of the most elusive feats to capture in sports, which makes the Belmont Stakes so special. The goal? To win all the three major horse racing competitions in succession. It’s happened just 12 times since 1919—most recently last June, when American Pharaoh become the first Triple Crown winner in 37 years. But this time, there is no chance of a horse winning the Triple Crown.

After winning the first leg at the Kentucky Derby, Nyquist lost the Preakness Stakes due to a late inside dash by Exaggerator. Jockeyed by Kent Desormeaux, Exaggerator comes in to Belmont Park as a 9-5 favorite over the field. Nyquist—undefeated before the Preakness—is a late scratch from the race due to a fever.

“We know we’re not going to have a Triple Crown race every year,” New York Racing Association (NYRA) President Chris Kay told reporters during Friday during a news conference at the Garden City Hotel. “We said, let’s make sure people understand this is one of the must-see days for incredible horse racing—it’s an incredible card.”

Kay noted that aside from the race itself, the racetrack will host a day of “partying, fun and great racing.” Among the festivities, rock artist Daughtry is expected to perform at Belmont Park on Saturday.

The novelty of the Belmont Stakes has pushed the spectator count to astronomical levels, in the last 10-15 years especially. In 2015 about 90,000 people packed into Belmont Park to see American Pharaoh be the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed won it all three legs in 1978. Last year would have likely seen a crowd that shattered the previous attendance record of 120,139 set in 2004, had NYRA not put a cap on the crowd capacity.

With no Triple Crown threat in this year’s field, attendance is expected to take a nosedive from last year. The question is, how many people will be there on Saturday, June 11? Kay anticipates the crowd will be between 45,000 and 55,000.

In ‘04, over 120,000 people made their way to the track. That year’s Triple Crown contender horse, Smarty Jones, placed second. The year following that record crowd when there was no Triple Crown winner in contention? Attendance was cut in half—less than 62,000 made the trip.

From ‘02 through ‘04, three consecutive Triple Crown hopefuls propelled attendance to over 100,000 each year. The three years thereafter—when no Triple Crown was on the line—attendance struggled to hit the 60,000 mark. The same is likely this year. The average crowd volume of the last five non Triple Crown races at the Stakes is 57,451, according to NYRA.

Despite the lessened interest from last year, both Nassau County Executive Mangano and NYRA remain confident in the entertainment factor that the 2016 Belmont Stakes will offer. Mangano predicted it will have a “$10 million economic impact on the county.” With no Triple Crown hopeful in this year’s field, Preakness winner Exaggerator will be the most talked about horse coming in.

“He ran great in the Derby, and he ran great in the Preakness,” said two-time Belmont Stakes winning trainer Todd Pletcher. “He’s shown up every time.”

Kay also expressed excitement over the fact that Lani, a horse from Japan, will be racing.

“There’s huge interest in Japan for this race,” Kay said.

Nassau County police encouraged spectators to take the Long Island Rail Road to Belmont Park. Hempstead Turnpike is expected to see extensive traffic delays, and Plainfield Avenue will be closed.

Despite the expected attendance drop business owners surrounding Belmont Park are expected to be packed.

“Of course, it’s busier when there’s a Triple Crown up for grabs, maybe it’s a 10-15 percent difference,” said Tracy Cooleen, general manager of Jameson Bar and Grill in Floral Park, one of dozens of businesses on Tulip Avenue that feels the impact of attendance numbers at the Belmont Stakes. “The area is busy either way, but certainly you can tell when it’s a Triple Crown year.”

So while there may not be record-breaking crowds this year, it’s still the place to be on Long Island this weekend.

Long Island LGBT Pride Fest Moving from Huntington to Long Beach Next Year

A rainbow flag, the gay pride symbol, flapping in the wind. (Photo by Ludovic Bertron)

By Olivia Booth

The 26th annual Long Island Pride festival this weekend will be its last in Huntington before moving to Long Beach and expanding into a weekend-long LGBT celebration next year, organizers announced Thursday.

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LI Pride fest, which typically includes live music, a fair and parade—this year’s parade was canceled, but the concert and fair will go on—next year will feature additional festivities such as a 5K run on the boardwalk, a softball tournament, surfing lessons, beach volleyball, pride brunch and more.

“We’re going to have a parade that is bigger than it ever was in the 26 years, we’re going to have a marching band, and a lot of other events,” David Kilmnick, executive director of the Long Island LGBT Network, told reporters during a news conference on the Long Beach boardwalk. “Long Island Pride will be the first pride on the beach in the entire country. That is quite a feat!”

This development highlights just how far the LGBT community has come on LI since advocates sued for the right to march in a local parade after being turned down by local towns three decades ago before the Huntington event debuted, drawing thousands.

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A lot has changed since then to make the LGBT community more socially accepted. Most notably, New York State passed the Marriage Equality Act in 2011 and last year, the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same sex marriage nationwide. Although there is still prejudice to overcome, such as the bomb threat that the Huntington gay pride parade received three years ago.

Anthony Eramo, the vice president of the Long Beach city council, said in a statement that the City by the Sea is “lucky to host what is sure to be a great event” next year.

“The Long Island Pride Weekend is a great opportunity for families all across Long Island to celebrate the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community that has contributed so much to make Long Island such a great place to live,” Eramo said.

This weekend’s LI Pride fest, which alternative rock group 10,000 Maniacs will headline, is scheduled for 12-5 p.m. Saturday, June 11 at Heckscher Park in Huntington. Next year’s event is slated for June 9-11. Visit LIPRIDE.org for more information.

Long Island Outdoor Movie Nights Summer 2016

Moviegoers watch a flick on the sand at Long Beach this summer (Courtesy of City of Long Beach).

By John Dundon

Whether sprawled out on a blanket or reclined in cars throwing it back to the days of drive-in movies, Long Islanders will once again be treated to outdoor movies  all summer long.

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Dozens of films from both new and old will be screened—weather permitting—across the Island in the coming months. The parks, beaches and community centers that host the events are sure to be fun filled, family centric environments for all to enjoy–usually free of charge. Pack snacks, drinks and lots of insect repellant.

“Grab a blanket, pack some snacks and come enjoy some family-friendly movies under the stars this summer,” said Nassau County Executive Mangano.

Below is a list of all outdoor movie screenings across the Island from early June through Labor Day.

Independence Day (Drive in, $10 donation to 9/11 memorial required)
Overlook Beach, Ocean Parkway, Babylon. Friday, June 10, 8:30 p.m.

Rocky III
Sunset Park, Main Street, Port Washington. Saturday, June 18, 8:15 p.m.

Princess Bride
Lafayette Blvd., Long Beach. Saturday, June 25, 8:15 p.m.

The Descendants
Tanner Park, Baylawn Avenue, Copiague. Monday, June 27, movie begins at dusk

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Heckscher Park, 164 Main St, Huntington. Monday, June 27, 7:30 p.m.

Book of Life
Cedar Creek Park, Merrick Road, Seaford. Tuesday, July 5, 8:30 p.m.

Peanuts
Harry Chapin Lakeside Theatre, Eisenhower Park, Hempstead Turnpike, East Meadow. Thursday, July 7, 8:35 p.m.

Max (Drive in)
Crab Meadow Beach, Waterside Avenue, Northport. Thursday, July 7, 7:30 p.m.

Minions
Jones Beach band shell, Jones Beach, Wantagh. Thursday, July 7, 8 p.m.

Jurassic World
Syosset-Woodbury Community Park, 7800 Jericho Tpke, Syosset. Friday, July 8, movie begins at dusk

Mama Mia
Lincoln Blvd., Long Beach. Saturday, July 9, 8:15 p.m.

Back to the Future
Sunset Park, Main Street, Port Washington. Saturday, July 9, 8:30 p.m.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Babylon Town Hall, 200 E. Sunrise Hwy., Lindenhurst. Monday, July 11, movie begins at dusk

Lilo and Stitch
Casamento Park, Muncey Road, West Islip. Monday, July 11, movie begins at dark

Matilda
Jeanne Garant Harborfront Park, 101 E. Broadway Ave., Port Jefferson. Tuesday, July 12, movie starts at dusk

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Minions
Ellsworth W. Allen Town Park, 45 Motor Ave., Farmingdale. Wednesday, July 13, movie starts at dusk

Goosebumps
Jones Beach band shell, Jones Beach, Wantagh. Thursday, July 14, 8 p.m.

Hotel Transylvania 2
Harry Chapin Lakeside Theatre, Eisenhower Park, Hempstead Turnpike, East Meadow. Tuesday, July 14, 8:30 p.m.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens
New York Ave., Long Beach. Saturday, July 16, 8 p.m.

Pete’s Dragon
Clinton G. Martin Park, New Hyde Park Road, New Hyde Park. Sunday, July 17, 7:30 p.m.

Jurassic World
Jeanne Garant Harborfront Park, 101 E. Broadway Ave., Port Jefferson. Tuesday, July 19, movie starts at dusk

Despicable Me 2
Cedar Creek Park, Merrick Road, Seaford. Tuesday, July 19, 8:40 p.m.

Finding Nemo (Drive in)
Crab Meadow Beach, Waterside Avenue, Northport. Thursday, July 21, 7:30 p.m.

Pan
Jones Beach band shell, Jones Beach, Wantagh Thursday, July 21, 8 p.m.

Minions
Harry Chapin Lakeside Theatre, Eisenhower Park, Hempstead Turnpike, East Meadow. Thursday, July 21, 8:30 p.m.  

The Sandlot
Plainview-Old Bethpage Community Park, 175 Washington Ave., Plainview. Thursday, July 21, movie begins at dusk

Jaws
Neptune Blvd., Long Beach. Saturday, July 23, 8 p.m.

A League of Their Own
(Donations being accepted for Copiague Fire Dept.) Tanner Park, Baylawn Avenue, Copiague. Monday, July 25, movie begins at dusk

Stand by Me
Bohemia Recreation Center, 1 Ruzicka Way, Bohemia. Monday, July 25, movie begins at dark

The Good Dinosaur
Jeanne Garant Harborfront Park, 101 E. Broadway Ave., Port Jefferson. Tuesday, July 26, movie starts at dusk

Home
Harry Chapin Lakeside Theatre, Eisenhower Park, Hempstead Turnpike, East Meadow. Thursday, July 28, 8:15 p.m.

The Good Dinosaur
Jones Beach band shell, Jones Beach, Wantagh. Thursday, July 28, 8 p.m.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Hoyt Farm Town Park, 200 New Hwy., Commack. Friday, July 29, 8:30 p.m.

The Good Dinosaur
Stotzky Park, Columbus Avenue, Riverhead. Friday, July 29, 8:30 p.m.

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens
John J. Burns Park, 4990 Merrick Road, Massapequa. Friday, July 29, movie begins at dusk

Rocky Horror Picture Show
Lincoln Blvd., Long Beach. Saturday, July 30, 7:45 p.m.

Pitch Perfect 2
Sunset Park, 10 Main Street, Port Washington. Saturday, July 30, 8 p.m.

Hotel Transylvania 2
Jones Beach band shell, Jones Beach. Saturday, July 30, 8 p.m.

The Intern
Jeanne Garant Harborfront Park, 101 E. Broadway Ave., Port Jefferson. Tuesday, Aug. 2, movie starts at dusk

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Day
Cedar Creek Park, Merrick Road, Seaford. Tuesday, August 2, 8:15 p.m.

Inside Out
Syosset-Woodbury Community Park, 7880 Jericho Tpke., Syosset. Wednesday, Aug. 3, movie begins at dusk

Minions
Harry Chapin Lakeside Theatre, Eisenhower Park, Hempstead Turnpike, East Meadow. Thursday, Aug. 4, 7:30 p.m.  

Kung Fu Panda 3
Harry Chapin Lakeside Theatre, Eisenhower Park, Jericho Turnpike, East Meadow. Thursday, Aug. 4, 8:15 p.m.

Inside Out
Jones Beach band shell, Jones Beach, Wantagh. Thursday, Aug. 4, 8 p.m.

Zootopia
Neptune Blvd., Long Beach. Saturday, Aug. 6, 7:45 p.m.

Minions
Sunset Park, Main Street, Port Washington. Saturday, Aug. 6, 8 p.m.

West Side Story
Brookwood Hall, 50 Irish Lane, East Islip. Monday, Aug. 8, movie begins at dark

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Tootsie
Clark Botanic Garden, 193 Willets Road, Roslyn Heights. Tuesday, Aug. 9, 8:15 p.m.

Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation
Jeanne Garant Harborfront Park, 101 E. Broadway Ave., Port Jefferson. Tuesday, Aug. 9, movie starts at dusk

Goosebumps
Harry Chapin Lakeside Theatre, Eisenhower Park, Hempstead Turnpike, East Meadow. Thursday, Aug. 11, 8:05 p.m.

Cinderella
Jones Beach band shell, Jones Beach, Wantagh. Thursday, August 11, 8 p.m.

Finding Nemo
Wading River Beach, 131 Creek Road, Wading River. Friday, Aug. 12, 8:30 p.m.

Jurassic World
New York Ave., Long Beach. Saturday, Aug. 13, 7:30 p.m.

Inside Out
Peter Nelson Park, Oakwood Road, Huntington. Monday, Aug. 15, 7:30 p.m.

Pan
Jeanne Garant Harborfront Park, 101 E. Broadway Ave., Port Jefferson. Tuesday, Aug. 16, movie starts at dusk

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Cedar Creek Park, Merrick Road, Seaford. Tuesday, August 16, 8 p.m.

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens  
North Hempstead Beach Park, 285 Denton Ave., North Hempstead. Thursday, Aug.18, 8 p.m.

Dirty Dancing
Neptune Blvd., Long Beach. Saturday, Aug. 20, 7:30 p.m.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Islip Grange Park, 10 Broadway Ave., Sayville. Monday, Aug. 22, movie begins at dark

Wizard of Oz
Harry Chapin Lakeside Theatre, Eisenhower Park, Hempstead Turnpike, East Meadow. Thursday, Aug. 25, 7:45 p.m.

Zootopia
Jones Beach band shell, Jones Beach, Wantagh. Thursday, Aug. 25, 8 p.m.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens  
South Jamesport Beach, Peconic Bay Boulevard. Friday, Aug. 26, 8 p.m.

ET: The Extra Terrestrial
Lafayette Blvd., Long Beach. Saturday, Aug. 27, 7:15 p.m.

Pan
Harry Chapin Lakeside Theatre, Eisenhower Park, Hempstead Turnpike, East Meadow. Sunday, August 28, 8 p.m.

Back to the Future
Lincoln Blvd., Long Beach. Saturday, Sept. 3, 7:15 p.m.

Minions
New York Ave., Long Beach. Saturday, Sept. 17, 6:45 p.m.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s
Lafayette Blvd., Long Beach. Saturday, Sept. 24, 6:30 p.m.

3 Long Island Beaches Rank Among Best in US

Long Beach
Sunbathers on the sand in Long Beach on a recent afternoon (Photo by Joe Abate).

By Olivia Booth

Three beaches on Long Island from the East End to the New York City line were named among the best in the country by experts and national publications last month.

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It’s been widely reported that Dr. Beach named Cooper Beach in Southampton among top 10 in the nation on his annual list released May 26. The news also spread that USA Today gave Long Beach a similar nod in a story published the same day. But a third report, this one by Travel and Leisure magazine, also ranked Shelter Island among the best—and Long Beach got a second hat tip in that story, too.

“Only accessible by ferry, Shelter Island, the Hampton’s quiet next-door neighbor, is the perfect seaside retreat,” the travel publication wrote May 19 in a story titled “Best Laid-Back Beach Towns in the Northeast.” The magazine applauded the rustic charm and beautiful landscapes of the island that sits between the North and South Forks on the East End.

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The lists were all released shortly before Memorial Day weekend, which marks the start of beach season and the unofficial start of summer on LI.

Long Beach was among the 10 that made Travel and Leisure’s list—“Long Beach has evolved into an upbeat coastal retreat but still maintains its Long Island roots (think fried clams, fresh bagels and Italian ices),” they wrote—as well as USA Today’s “10 Beaches to Start Summer Off Right.”

“With the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the Reynolds’s Channel on the other, it is a beautifully situated seaside community that boasts a 3.5 mile long beach considered one of the cleanest in the USA,” the newspaper wrote. Both write-ups captures the barrier island’s carefree vibe and many food options.

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Back on the East End, Dr. Beach, a geoscientist and ecologist billed as America’s foremost beach expert, ranked Cooper Beach in Southampton the eighth best in the nation—falling from No. 1 in 2010.

“Some of the best beach access in the Hamptons exists on Cooper Beach,” said Dr. Beach. His ranking was based on the wide expanse of sand dunes and the “white quartz sand,” among a total of 50 criteria.

See? No need to fly to Hawaii or Florida. There’s the proof to look no further than Long Island for some of the most beautiful beaches in the world!

Do This: Long Island Concerts & Events June 9–15

Mary Chapin Carpenter
Mary Chapin Carpenter (Photo by Russ Harrington)

Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis Jr.
After 46 years of marriage and 48 of performing together, these former 5th Dimension singers’ strong bond will be seen on stage as they continue to perform their songs for jazz and R&B fans. Songs like “Saving All My Love for You” and “You Don’t Have to Be a Star” are some of the many hits these two will are expected to sing at their concert. NYCB Theatre at Westbury, 960 Brush Hollow Rd., Westbury. venue.thetheatreatwestbury.com $39.50-$74.50. 8 p.m. June 9.

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Bruce Ferber
This television comedy writer, producer and author will be speaking and signing copies of his new book, Cascade Falls. Book Revue, 313 New York Ave., Huntington. bookrevue.com Free with purchase of book. 7 p.m. June 10.

QuadraLove
Easing the mind and freeing the soul with their reggae grooves is this four-piece local band that has played in venues from Amagansett to Manhattan, spreading their passion for music everywhere they go. Their EP, The Power Inside, presents the group’s reggae roots, but also shows their desire to explore other musical landscapes. Their mission is to share their love for music to ease pain in the world. Treme Blues and Jazz Club, 553 Main St., Islip. Tremeislip.com $10. 8 p.m. June 10.

Mary Chapin Carpenter
This beloved singer-songwriter has been playing guitar and making music since her childhood in Princeton, N.J. She was barely out of her teens when she began performing her material in D.C. clubs where word of her talent spread eventually to Nashville. And that’s when her career really took off. Now, after a string of Top 20 hits, a Grammy Award-winning smash called “Down at the Twist and Shout,” and recognition as the Country Music Association’s “female vocalist of the year”—twice—she’s gone on to sell more than 13 million records and forged a dedicated following that spans the globe. Warming up the crowd will be Tift Merritt. Opening the show is Lucy Wainwright Roche. The Space at Westbury, 250 Post Ave., Westbury. thespaceatwestbury.com $40-$75. 8 p.m. June 10.

Friday Night Fever
This groovy night of full-on disco features The New York Bee Gees and Rainere Martin. “The Ultimate Disco Experience” includes a tribute to Donna Summer and Disco 54 that will be sure to get the crowd dancing. They’ll bring the music, you bring the moves! Can you dig it? The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $20-$35. 8 p.m. June 10.

Johnny Mathis
Vocalist of pop and jazz for 60 years, Johnny Mathis started singing at the age of 13. After being signed by Columbia records in 1958, Johnny’s Greatest Hits, a combination of funky jazz and harmonic pop, went on the Billboard Top Albums Chart and remained there for almost 10 years. He’s worked with Ray Charles, and has been awarded his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The artist has received five Grammy nominations throughout his career, his latest in 2014 for “Sending You a Little Christmas” for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album. NYCB Theatre at Westbury, 960 Brush Hollow Rd., Westbury. venue.thetheatreatwestbury.com $49.50-$59.50. 8 p.m. June 10.

Carl Palmer
This drummer has thrilled fans for nearly four decades with some of music’s most memorable bands including Atomic Rooster, The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown, Asia and Emerson, Lake & Palmer. Along the way his dazzling speed and mastery of the drums, combined with his infectious stage personality, have secured for him a respected place in history as one of Rock and Roll’s greatest drummers. YMCA Boulton Center for the Performing Arts, 37 West Main Street, Bay Shore. boultoncenter.org $55-$60. 8 p.m. June 10.

Messiah
Recognizable as the first-ever Latin rapper from New York to sell out the music venue Stage 48 in NYC, Latin rapper Messiah has been making a mark on the music world since launching his career in 2010. Messiah has played in Madison Square Garden three sequential times in the past year and describes himself as “The Justin Bieber of Uptown.” His unique blend of trap music and Latin hip-hop has made listeners consider the future of rap as one with intricate Hispanic influence. In his native country of the Dominican Republic, Messiah is one of the top five urban artists. With DJ Camilo. The Emporium, 9 Railroad Ave., Patchogue. theemporiumny.com $20. 11 p.m. June 10.

Belmont Stakes
The 148th running of the Belmont Stakes will not feature a contender for the Triple Crown like American Pharoah’s historic win last year. This year, the heavy favorite will be Exaggerator, with Suddenbreakingnews, Cherry Wine and Stradivari behind him as contenders. But as usual, the park will host an array of festivities leading up to the big race. Belmont Park , 2150 Hempstead Tpk., Elmont. belmontstakes.com $20 Gates open 8:30 a.m. June 11.

Long Island Pridefest
Headlining the 26th annual Long Island Pridefest is 10,000 Maniacs, one of pop music’s most enduring and influential bands. The event also includes dozens of vendors, food, a beer and wine garden as well as family friendly activities. Heckscher Park, 164 Main St., Huntington. lgbtnetwork.org/pride Free, $40 VIP lounge. 12 p.m. June 11.

BLI Summer Jam
A flawless array of hipster hits and radio jams join forces for the BLI Summer Jam. Featuring artists such as Meghan Trainor (“Dear Future Husband”), Iggy Azalea (“Fancy”), Fifth Harmony (“Work From Home”), Charlie Puth (“One Call Away”) and Troye Sivan (“Wild”), this show is not to be missed. Also performing will be Shaggy, The Chainsmokers, Rachel Platten, DAYA, Hailee Steinfeld and Melanie Martinez. The variety within this lineup is simply irresistible because all the tunes are breezy, fun and fitting for the summer. Nikon at Joners Beach, Jones Beach State Park, Wantagh. jonesbeach.com $10.61-$175. 3 p.m. June 11.

Rebelution
This reggae-rock band formed in the chill land of Santa Barbara back in 2004. After the release of their newest album, Falling Into Place, Rebelution hits LI for the first time ever on their national tour. The band has made great strides in reggae, as their single, “Count Me In,” debuted No. 1 on the Billboard Reggae chart in 2014. December of the same year posed great potential for the guys, as their album with the same name was given the title of Best Reggae Album of the Year by Billboard. NYCB Theatre at Westbury, 960 Brush Hollow Rd., Westbury. venue.thetheatreatwestbury.com $35. 6:30 p.m. June 11.

Jim Norton
Comedian, radio personality, author and actor Jim Norton will push every button he can, all in the name of comedy. His outrageous brand of humor (both dirty and self-deprecating) has earned him a Netflix series, radio presence and cameos in many movies. A native New Yorker, Jim is bringing his tour and dirty and infectious humor back home. Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center, 76 Main St., Westhampton Beach. whbpac.org $55-$75. 8 p.m. June 11.

La Original Banda El Limon
Performing for the first time ever in Long Island will be Mexican groups: La Original Banda El Limón de Salvador Lizárraga, Grupo Unicornio Musical, Grupo Adorados de Mexico and music by Deejay Castillo and Electroshock. A night wrapped around Mexican folk music at this nightclub will surely include lots of dancing. The Emporium, 9 Railroad Ave., Patchogue. theemporiumny.com $40. 11 p.m. June 11.

Hello Brooklyn
Hailing from New York City, Hello Brooklyn’s relaxed but entertaining vibrancy is portrayed in their performances and mirrored through their audiences. Their energy and passion for music is what will draw in crowds to dance and sing along. The Stephen Talkhouse, 161 Main St., Amagansett. stephentalkhouse.com $30. 11 p.m. June 11.

Carlos Mencia
Best known for Comedy Central’s Mind of Mencia (2005-2008), the comedian recently returned to his stand-up roots, indiscriminately discriminating all races and ethnicities, without fear or favor. Governor’s Comedy Club, 90 Division Ave., Levittown. govs.govs.com $32. 8 p.m. June 10, 7 & 10:30 p.m. June 11.

Silent Majority
One of the best Long Island Hardcore bands to come out of the genre’s ’90s heyday has reunited to play back-to-back shows for fans of their two albums, Based on a True Story and Life of a Spectator. Those not in the know might be familiar with some of the bands that Silent Majority’s former members joined, including The Movielife, Taking Back Sunday and Glassjaw. The timing of the show is notable upon listing to the lyrics to “Polar Bear Club,” one of the most-cited songs off their sophomore effort: “Years from now when they’re all gone/I pray that we’re still friends/In the sand at Gilgo Beach/In the year two thousand and sixteen/I’ll be 42 and so will you/in our chairs right by the sea/Faded tattoos on our legs and back/And our feet are buried in the sand/I just bought a microphone for my kid/’Cause she’s tryin’ out for a band’/This is a lifestyle and not a trend.” Opening the show Friday is Backtrack and High Card. Warming up the crowd Saturday is Incendiary, Somerset Thrower and Hangman. Revolution Bar and Music Hall, 140 Merrick Rd., Amityville. revolutionli.com 8 p.m. June 10, 7:30 p.m. June 11.

Bay Shore Arts Festival By the Bay
It’s that time of the year again to enjoy local music, good food and visit various vendors at Bay Shore’s 16th annual Arts Festival. Catch performances by Bay Shore High School’s theatre department and choir, the Hibernian Festival Singers, the Sweet Adelines and the Babylon Chorale. Festival goers can enjoy the art various street vendors have on display and even purchase these unique items. For children, there’s a petting zoo and pony rides. Main Street, Bay Shore. bayshorecommerce.com Free. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. June 12.

Waves of Immigration – Growing up in Sag Harbor
Sag Harbor has traditionally been a working-class town and the neighborhoods that grew up around the village historically housed a diverse population including Jewish, African American, Native American, Polish, Italian and Hungarian residents who moved here for work or to establish a community of their own. This panel will reflect on what it was like to grow up in those neighborhoods, some of which still have the flavor of their original inhabitants. Join journalist Alexandra Eames for a discussion with four Sag Harbor residents, Patricia A. Archibald, William Pickens III, Diane Schiavone and Robert Browngardt. Sag Harbor Whaling Museum, 200 Main St., Sag Harbor. sagharborwhalingmuseum.org Free with museum admission. 11 a.m. June 12.

Boating with the Baymen
Explore the traditions of fishermen and baymen by cruising the water in a fishing boat. Speakers include Bob Doxsee of Doxsee Sea Clam in Point Lookout, decoy carver Jack Combs of Greenport, bay house owner Frank “PJ” Passalaqua of Baldwin, recreational fishing writer Tom Schlichter, recreational fisherman Reed Riemer and charter boat captain Bill Marinaccio. Miss Freeport, 85 Woodcleft Ave., Freeport. longislandtraditions.org $45 adults, $20 kids under 16. 2 p.m. June 12.

My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult
This industrial band is sure to pack the club with fans of their peculiar genre of electronic rock. This band’s unique style of humorous and satirical references to controversial topics is sure to make an impact in every stop of their tour.  Warming up the crowd are Bella Morte, Liquid Blonde, Daybreak & The Shadows and Bitter Grace. Revolution Bar and Music Hall, 140 Merrick Rd., Amityville. revolutionli.com $15, $20 DOS. 6 p.m. June 12.

Dolan Twins
Ethan and Grayson Dolan have been internet stars since 2013. The two have been making Vines and YouTube videos to entertain and stay in touch with their fans. The teen heartthrobs are going on tour featuring live performances, meet-and-greets with special guest Alex Aiono. The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $25-$45. 8 p.m. June 12.

Jackson Browne
Member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Jackson Browne has sold over 18 million albums in the United States. He’s best known for songs like “These Days,” “The Pretender,” and many more. The Los Angeles native is also known for his environmental and political activism. NYCB Theatre at Westbury, 960 Brush Hollow Rd., Westbury. venue.thetheatreatwestbury.com $65.50-$100.50. 8 p.m. June 12.

Indian American Night
Song! Dance! Food Celebration! Part of the Nassau County International Music Nights Concert Series dedicated to music and culture, this free night of mesmerizing Indian American music is bound to satisfy the soul and those dancin’ feet! Harry Chapin Lakeside Theatre, Eisenhower Park, East Meadow. Free. 8 p.m. June 12.

Eternal Con – The Long Island Comic Con
Aside from celebrity meet-and-greets and cos-play, fans can find the best in comic books, movies, gaming, collectables, etc. This convention is THE pop-culture event of the summer for Long Island. Cradle of Aviation Museum, Charles Lindbergh Blvd., Garden City. cradleofaviation.org $20-$60. 7-11 p.m. June 10, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. June 11, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. June 12.

The Brainwashing of My Dad
The director of this documentary seeks to discover why her WWII veteran father’s personality radically transformed from that of a non-political Kennedy Democrat to an angry right-wing fanatic after his discovery of talk radio and Fox News. Appearing in person for a Q&A will be director Jen Senko and author Ari Rabin-Havt, who wrote “Lies, Incorporated; The World of Post-Truth Politics.” Co-presented by the Long Island Media Task Force. Cinema Arts Centre, 423 Park Ave., Huntington. cinemaartscentre.org $10 members, $15 public. 7:30 p.m. June 13.

Joe Walsh / Bad Company
This will be “one hell of a night!” Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Joe Walsh is a guitarist known for his involvement with the James Gang and The Eagles, as well many solo recordings with Paul McCartney, the Foo Fighters and others. Also performing will be classic rock group Bad Company, famous for Grammy Award-nominated tunes “Feel Like Makin’ Love” and “Shooting Star.” Nikon at Jones Beach, Jones Beach State Park, Wantagh. jonesbeach.com $20-$169. 7 p.m. June 14.

Rorie Kelly and Christine Sweeney
These two local up-and-coming musicians will perform originals and covers. Kelly has been compared to Joni Mitchell and Sara Bareilles for her catchy-confessional songwriting style, and to Alanis Morisette and Janis Joplin for her raw powerhouse vocals. Sweeny has a voice as powerful as it is sultry and sweet, deftly handling poppy and playful without sacrificing genuine emotion. Patchogue Theatre for the Performing Arts, 71 East Main St., Patchogue. patchoguetheatre.org $10. 7:30 p.m. June 15.

Guster
Fans of bands like the Shins or the Black Keys will enjoy this Bostonian alternative rock band. Original members Adam Gardner, Ryan Miller and Brian Rosenworcel assembled the band in the ’91 during college and since then, they’ve been joined by guitarist Luke Reynolds, and their underground sound has evolved into the mainstream. They’ve released seven albums in the past 20 years, proving they’ve got staying power within the indie-alternative realm. Their latest album, Evermotion includes funky love songs like “Endlessly,” and more mellow tunes like “Lazy Love.” The band’s prominent guitar strings, smooth vocals and warm drum sounds are eminent in their tracks, and will leave the listeners feeling satisfied. Opening the show is Marco Benevento. The Space at Westbury, 250 Post Ave., Westbury. thespaceatwestbury.com $36-$46. 8 p.m. June 15.

-Compiled by Kate Nalepinski, Leo Capobianco, Ellie Schoeffel, Ana Borruto, Mike Harris, Luis Centeno and Timothy Bolger

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