LGBTQ Pride Month is celebrated each year in June to honor the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan. The Stonewall Uprising was a tipping point for the Gay Liberation Movement in the United States. In major cities across the nation, the “day” soon grew into a month-long series of events. Now, celebrations include pride parades, picnics, parties, workshops, concerts, and LGBTQ Pride Month events attract millions of participants around the world. Memorials are held during this month for those members of the community who have been lost to hate crimes or HIV/AIDS. The purpose of pride month is to recognize the impact that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals have had on history locally, nationally, and internationally.
Here are the top 10 Events and Celebrations occurring this summer that you don’t want to miss!
1. The Woods in Lehighton, All Summer
The Woods Campground in Pennsylvania is an LGBTQ-specific, clothing-optional campground. Exclusively for the 18 and above the crowd! The Woods includes 161 acres of forest, campsites, a lake, and streams. A relaxing getaway with several themed weekends and accessible for all members of the LGBTQ community. Be sure to grab your tents and camping gear for a nice getaway in the woods!
2. Criminal Querness Festival, June 13-July 6
New York, New York
Mentioned in a 2017 study from OutRight International, 72 countries continue to criminalize same-sex relationships, including eight countries that employ the death penalty against LGBTQ people. With this in mind, the nonprofit National Queer Theater is shining a spotlight on global homophobia with plays from Egypt, Tanzania, Pakistan, China, and others. In association with World Pride and the backdrop of Stonewall’s 50th anniversary, the Criminal Queerness Festival challenges audiences to engage and reflect upon the status of civil rights in the United States to better support LGBTQ people abroad. Show your support!
3. Trans March, June 28
San Francisco, California
The annual Trans March is known as the largest transgender event in San Francisco and probably in the world, takes place the same weekend as San Francisco Pride, but actively seeks to include and feature trans and gender non-conforming attendees. Now in its 15th year, the volunteer-run event features performances from the full spectrum of the LGBTQ community with speeches, a resource fair, a special brunch, live music, art performances, and after-parties. Don’t miss out!
4. LadyLand, June 28-29
Brooklyn, New York
Taking place over World Pride weekend in NYC, LadyLand is the 2nd annual queer music festival from local promoter “Ladyfag,” a nightlife queen famous for producing some of the hottest LGBTQ events and parties in the city. LGBTQ performers this year include, Gossip and Honey Dijon headline the two-day event, and featuring special guests Pussy Riot, and Mykki Blanco.
5. Invasion of the Pines, July 4
Fire Island, New York
For nearly four decades, hundreds of visitors flood to Fire Island for the Fourth of July weekend for a private event called “Invasion of the Pines.” Way back when, in 1976, a group of drag queen activists donned their most glamorous wigs to protest being refused service at one of the bars at the time. The tradition continues today more as a celebration, which makes it one of the most colorful weekends on the favorite LGBTQ-friendly island getaway.
6. Homoclimbtastic, July 18-21
Known as “the world’s largest queer-friendly climbing convention,” the annual Homoclimbtastic is for devoted explorers seeking to connect with others in the great outdoors. Outdoorsy individuals will bond while hiking and camping, and of course, get in some serious hang time… literally though! Look below!
7. Gay Wine Weekend, July 19-21
In the heart of wine country, the annual Gay Wine Weekend celebrates local LGBTQ wine producers in the world-renowned Sonoma Valley. Events include vineyard and winery tours, drag queen brunches, and live music, along with a signature Twilight Dance at the downright gorgeous Chateau St. Jean winery and a raucous closing afternoon pool party. Gay Wine Weekend is a fun way to discover Sonoma while supporting worthwhile LGBTQ causes. What is excellent about Gay Wine Weekend is that the event serves as a fundraiser for local LGBTQ organizations like Face to Face, the Sonoma County HIV/AIDS Network.
8. Rendezvous, August 7-11
Medicine Bow National Forest, Wyoming
Rendezvous is located in the Rocky Mountain Region and is known as the largest LGBTQ Pride camping event. It started in 1992 by a group of friends but now boasts 500-plus folks year over year. This “come-as-you-are” event is well-known for its diversity of campers and camping styles — whether young or old, camping with a tent or in an RV. Activities include camping must-haves such as, s’ mores, a mini-film fest, a beach party, and even a party called “Sausage Fest,” which is located at Pervert Peak.
9. Southern Decadence, August 29-September 2
New Orleans, Louisiana
The Southern Decadence started nearly 50 years ago. It is also called “Gay Mardi Gras,” and is known as the South’s most prominent LGBTQ event that happens every year. Decadence attracts over 200,000 visitors each year with yes, there are beads, costumes, live music, and non-stop drinking. The multi-day event spills into the French Quarter with outdoor concerts and all-night parties, with Sunday culminating in the parade. This year’s theme is “Fruit Salad,” so expect to live it up in New Orleans!
10. RuPaul’s DragCon, September 6-8
New York, New York
Celebrating art, pop culture, and all things drag, the annual RuPaul’s DragCon comes to NYC each September (and each spring to Los Angeles). Celebrity queens from the popular TV show RuPaul’s Drag Race, whose fans rush to the Jacob Javits Convention Center to kiki. The family-friendly event is all camp and spectacle, full of performances, merch, panels with your favorite queens, and more. As RuPaul says, “You better work!”