Pride month 2022 brings New York City its first full roster of celebrations since 2019, and the queer community could not be happier. With hot days and rooftop=ready nights, June 2022 looks set to host some incredible Pride-centric events, pop-ups and festivals. It’s no secret that LGBTQIA+ Pride month has its origins in New York City queer history, with the Stonewall riots occurring in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village neighborhood in June 1969. The New York Police Department clashed with local Gay and Trans patrons of the famous Stonewall Inn bar on June 28, 1969, arresting patrons under the auspices of ‘…congregating in an establishment without a liquor license.’ Many members of the queer community, including Trans men and women, drag queens, lesbians and gender non-conforming people gathered over the next six days at the Stonewall Inn to protest the community’s treatment at the hands of police, and one year later, ‘Pride’ festivities began culminating in honor of the protests which began the June 28th prior.
While over the years Pride month has served as a source of joyous celebration, incidents of bigotry and hatred – such as the Orlando Pulse club shooting in 2016 – continue to serve as a stark reminder of the violence that the queer community continue to navigate. 2013 marked the first year that a sitting President, Barack Obama, directly referenced the Stonewall riots – mentioning this momentous incident in his inaugural address. Obama presided over the nation when same-sex marriage became legal in the United States in June 2015 as a result of enduring efforts by the queer community and allies to forge a path toward marriage equality. With the relative re-emergence of social events, performances and concerts post-pandemic, LGBTQIA+ happenings during Pride month offer something for everyone looking for a chance to celebrate Pride with joy and renewed vigor. Here, we cover some of the most intriguing Pride events of 2022 across New York City.
1. Visit the Giant Progress Pride Flag at Four Freedoms Park
For Pride 2022, Four Freedoms Park Conservancy (FFPC) holds the prestigious honor of featuring the largest Pride Progress flag visible in New York City during Pride 2022. The conservancy’s incredible Pride Progress flag far and wide from its East River location on Roosevelt island.
This year, the Ballet Hispánico has been invited to create space for performance in dialogue with the intersectionality of queer and Hispanic identity. Colorful, vibrant, and visible, the ballet and the park’s conservancy are joining forces for this exciting, monumental tribute to the beauty and joy of Pride month.
2. Visit St. John the Divine’s Vibrant Rainbow Columns
The Cathedral of St. John the Divine has participated in decades of Queer history in New York City. In celebration of their rich legacy of bolstering the LGBTQ+ community, the Cathedral’s columns will be lit in the colors of the rainbow the entire month of June 2022 for Pride month.
The Cathedral was one of the first churches in the country to recognize the impact of the HIV/AIDS crisis in the 1980s, and it continues to honor survivors today: an AIDS Memorial in the nave of the church is dedicated to the memories of AIDS victims. One of artist Keith Haring’s final works, a triptych altarpiece titled The Life of Christ, also remains on public view in the Cathedral’s Chapel of St. Saviour. This beautiful installation is free and open to the public through the month of June.
3. Ursula xo NO BAR Pop-up at The Standard, East Village
Get ready for the deliciousness of queer Brooklyn hotspot Ursula’s takeover coming to Manhattan on Tuesday, June 21st. Ursula head chef Eric See’s Pride month Pop-up arrives at The Standard, East Village from June 21 through 26. The Ursula team exclusive week-long residency at NO BAR, the hospitality property’s famed late night destination, starting at the top of New York City’s Pride week, lasting from Tuesday the 21st until Sunday, June 26th.
During the pop-up, the menu will feature small plates – including Lamb Carnitas & Red Chile Memelas and Blue Corn Olive Oil Cakes – and culminate with an extravagant Pride Day brunch where queer chefs Woldy Reyes – of Woldy Kusina – and Tony Ortiz – of Chile Con Miel – will join Eric in the kitchen for the “Queens of the South, a queer brunch celebration”. Brunch will feature the spin stylings of DJ Wavy Fox and live music and drag performances curated by The Soapbox Presents, a Harlem-based community organization celebrating the brilliance of Black and Brown people through art.
4. National Queer Theatre Presents: Criminal Queerness Festival
Free and open to the public, National Queer Theatre presents their Criminal Queerness Festival in honor of Pride month. Readings, short talks and activists talks from queer activists worldwide bring to light the queer experience, with a particular lens on regions where being queer and trans continues to be criminalized. Works from Kenyan and Ugandan playwrights center stories of marginalization and criminalization, bringing to light the range of experience queer and trans folk experience internationally.
With a focus on the East African queer experience, Criminal Queerness Festival particularly centers regions where being a member of the LGBTQ+ community results in persecution. The festival specifically focuses on de-stigmatizing queerness in hostile spaces. The festival takes place at Lincoln Center from June 21-24.
5. March in the Iconic New York City Pride Parade
After a two year hiatus, New York City‘s Pride March is returning in full force for 2022. With Grand Marshalls Ts Madison, Punkie Johnson, Schuyler Bailar, Dominique Morgan and Chase Strangio, the activists and creatives leading this vibrant event span LGBTQIA+ interests and culture.
The 2022 New York City Pride March kicks off up at Madison Square Park, continuing down Fifth Avenue before crossing westward along 8th Street and Christopher Street, ending at Seventh Ave and 15th Street. This event is free and open to the public, and bright colors, pride flags and joyous attitudes are encouraged.
6. Dive Into Pride Oysters at Essex Pearl, Benefiting the Trevor Project
For foodies, it doesn’t get much better than enjoying fine dining and libations to benefit a cause dear to many in the Queer community. At Essex Pearl, throughout the month of June diners can feast upon “Pride oysters,” made with colorful fish roe, house shallots and Red Chili Nuoc Cham. These delectable oysters, along with signature cocktails made especially for Pride month patrons, go to benefit the Trevor Project: a non-profit serving as a resource for queer youth undergoing mental health crises.
Conveniently located just beneath Essex Market on the Lower East Side, this new seafood destination is helmed by chef Daniel Le who is famed for working at the Ritz Carlton and Hanoi House. A fusion of the best that Southeast Asia and New York have to offer, the establishment is a venture by Aqua Best, the renowned seafood purveyor based in New York City.
7. Visit “Live Pridefully” curated by Mohamed Q. Amin for Photoville
Photoville—New York City’s premiere annual free photo festival—returns to New York’s five boroughs from June 4-26, with 60 exhibitions in 20 locations. With this much photography on view, exhibitions on view vary, delighting festival attendees across multiple sites each with unique themes.
For Pride 2022, the Caribbean Equality Project and Queens Museum have joined forces to produce “Live Pridefully: Love and Resilience within Pandemics.” Curated by Mohamed Q. Amin, Executive Director of the Caribbean Equality Project, the presentation features photography by Christian Thane and visual direction by Richard Ramsundar. Trans and queer bodies from the Caribbean diaspora are uplifted in this freely visible exhibition on view at Brooklyn Bridge Park – New Dock Street through June 26th.
8. Join Festival-goers at New York City Pride Island 2022
New York City Pride gleefully returns in 2022 with Pride Island, located for the first time at Governor’s Island. This 2-day music festival is easily accessible from both Brooklyn and Lower Manhattan, and brings queer musicians to the forefront. Get ready to dance for 2 full days on Saturday, June 25th and Sunday, June 26th to a remarkable lineup of musicians and DJs.
This LGBTQIA+ event features iconic performers such as Lil’ Kim, Kim Petras, Netta and many more. Packages are available for festival goers to secure their refreshments in advance at the event website.
Next, discover the Top 10 Secrets of Stonewall Inn.