June is Pride Month, an entire month dedicated to recognizing the contributions that LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer and/or questioning) individuals have made to their community and society.
Pride Month originated to honor the Stonewall Riots of 1969, when LGBTQ patrons of Manhattan’s Stonewall Inn fought back against police who launched one of its many discriminatory raids on the gay bar. The event marked a turning point in the movement for LGBTQ equality. Since 1970, gay pride marchers have flooded the streets of New York City every June to demonstrate their pride and advocate for continued progress for the marginalized group’s rights.
Over the years, Long Islanders have hosted their own events, some of them held by nonprofit organizations and others by business owners and residents. So pull out your Pride flag and check out these five Pride events happening on Long Island this month!
VIRTUAL PRIDE KICK-OFF
Pride for Youth, a division of Long Island Crisis Center, will host a virtual Pride kick-off event featuring youth performances, personal stories, special guest appearances, and more. prideforyouth.org/pride2021. $25. 7 p.m. June 1.
PRIDE ART SHOW OPENING
“Pride” is the theme for Paper Doll Vintage Boutique’s June art show. The deadline for submissions has passed, but art enthusiasts and curious shoppers alike are welcome to stop by and enjoy the artwork hung around the store at the show’s June 4 opening and throughout the month during store hours. Paper Doll Vintage Boutique, 23 Main St., Sayville. facebook.com/PaperDollVintageBoutique 11 a.m.-8 p.m. June 4.
BABYLON VILLAGE PRIDE PARADE
Launched just last year, the Babylon Village Pride Parade is fairly new but already wildly popular and is returning for a second year. People decorate their cars in rainbow pride colors and drive down Deer Park Avenue in the village to celebrate. Participants can stand on the sidewalk to watch the parade or enter their own fully decorated vehicle ahead of time by emailing ba[email protected]. Local gay bar owners of BTW Oceanside and NuBar in South Farmingdale will be among the participants. 2 p.m. June 6.
LGBT NETWORK’S LONG ISLAND PRIDE
After the pandemic forced this well-established event to go virtual last year, Long Island Pride will take place in person once more. The ticketed event will be held at Eisenhower Park and feature a concert by Queen tribute band Almost Queen. Attendees must be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 and purchase a ticket in advance. The event will also be livestreamed for those who cannot attend in person. Harry Chapin Lakeside Theatre, Eisenhower Park, 1899 Hempstead Tpke., East Meadow. prideonthebeach.org. $25-$75. Noon-4 p.m. June 13.
VIRTUAL PRIDE AFTER DARK
Pride for Youth will host another virtual event, its 6th annual Pride After Dark, which will be free and open to LGBTQ folks ages 13 to 30. The celebration will feature performances by local drag performers, special guests, music, and information about life-saving services, including the opportunity to register for a free HIV test. prideafterdark2021.eventbrite.com. 7 p.m. June 20.
For more guides about things to do on Long Island, visit longislandpress.com/category/everything-long-island.