New York City Pride is one of my favorite weekends of the year, because there are rainbows everywhere and it truly feels like people are celebrating US. But aside from the March on Sunday, it’s hard to know what events to go to. I always feel like I missed a memo; surely there are more events that aren’t going to cost me a bajillion dollars to get into. And last year I found out where all the best folks are. They’re at the Everyone is Gay/Autostraddle All-Ages event at Housing Works Bookstore.
I went to the All-Ages event for the first time last year. Before I had always assumed all Pride-related events were expensive dance parties, so I thought the March was the only event I’d ever be interested in. But then I found out about this event and it sounded right up my alley. I had no idea how badly I wanted to hang out in a bookstore with my LGBTQ+ fam and listen to some amazing, empowering, inspiring performances by LGBTQ+ performers, but my friends, I did. And I think you do, too. This year’s event is more important than ever, as Kristin recently explained on Twitter and Mal Blum explained in their op-ed about not attending NYC Pride.
From Kristin’s Twitter:
Today I learned NYC Pride will host its 1st-ever youth event, sponsored by Target, at the exact same date/time as the free, grassroots LGBTQ Youth event Everyone Is Gay has been hosting since 2012. I feel entirely blindsided. In the past few years we have had several conversations directly with NYC Pride, asking for support or collaboration with our event, and have been turned away (instead being asked to give money to get booth or advertisement space). So we’ve continued to do our event without their support, like we always do, collaborating with Autostraddle, Tumblr, Bluestockings, and Housing Works Books; and featuring incredible artists like Urban Word NYC, Mal Blum, Bells Roar and many more.
I, of course, applaud ANY space for LGBTQ youth. Creating those spaces has been my life’s work and I’ve participated in aspects of NYC Pride for 10+ years. But it hurts and concerns me see yet another vital, meaningful space, desperately in need of visibility and funding, pushed out by corporate entities, and Pride’s increasingly mainstream ethos.
So come and let’s celebrate Pride together! Here’s what this year’s event has in store:
What: 5th Annual All-Ages Pride Party
Your MCs: Kristin Russo (CEO & EIC of Everyone is Gay, co-author of This is a Book for Parents of Gay Kids, co-host of Buffering the Vampire Slayer podcast) and Gabby Rivera (Juliet Takes a Breath, Marvel’s America comics)
When: Saturday, June 24, 2pm EST – 4pm EST
Where: Housing Works Bookstore Cafe, 126 Crosby Street, New York, NY 10012
The event is FREE (though last year I happily paid the $5 suggested donation, it is indeed just suggested, and goes toward Housing Works’ effort to end the dual crises of homelessness and AIDS in the city), and open to all ages. It’s founded, sponsored and supported by grassroots organizations and queer folks just like you and me.
Added bonus, the event is in the afternoon, so you can still shell out $50 to get covered in someone else’s glitter-sweat if that’s what you’re into.
See you there!
UPDATE! The Everyone is Gay official Facebook page will now be streaming this event LIVE. So if you live too far away from NYC to swing by, you can still celebrate pride with us.