Our sadness over the tragedy in Orlando has not subsided since 49 young people were murdered at Pulse while enjoying the LGBT club's Latin night. For generations, members of the LGBT community have faced violence and prejudice, yet through it all the community has shown extraordinary resilience. This month is officially LGBT Pride Month (in commemoration of the game-changing Stonewall riots of June 1969). L.A. Pride even went on defiantly on the very day we woke up to the terrible news in Orlando. There are still plenty of opportunities to honor this irrepressible community, and demonstrate strength and unity, by taking part in one of the many upcoming Pride festivities taking place across the nation.
1. San Francisco, California
The weekend-long San Francisco LGBT Pride Celebration has been going strong for 46 years, kicked into life each year with the unmistakable sound of the Dykes on Bikes revving their engines at 10:30 am on the Sunday. This year's celebration takes place over the June 25 and 26 and will take as its theme "For Racial and Economic Quality," with Black Lives Matter serving as a community grand marshal. In one of America's greatest cities for political mobilization, also expect the event to address opposition to North Carolina's “bathroom laws” targeting transgender people, as well as defiance in face of the stigma and discrimination that led to the events in Orlando. SF Pride is big and beautiful: More than a million people attended last year; it's billed as "the largest gathering of the LGBT community and allies in the nation."
2. New York, New York
Also going strong since 1970, NYC Pride Week festivities run from June 19 to 26. The big day is Sunday June 26, when the PrideFest street fair, featuring entertainers and other activities, will begin at 11 a.m. and the Dance on the Pier runs from 2 p.m. to 10 a.m, culminating with the world’s longest-running LGBT fireworks display over the Hudson River. The biggest and best event, though, is the colorful and hugely entertaining March, which kicks off at midday at the 36th and 5th before traveling down 5th Avenue and winding up by the Stonewall Inn, site of the birth of the United States' gay rights movement.
3. Chicago, Illinois
Chicago knows how to throw a party and Pride is no exception. The 47th Annual Chicago Pride celebration begins with a festival over the weekend of June 18th then the huge Pride Parade takes place the following weekend. The parade kicks off at noon on Sunday, June 26, at Montrose Avenue and Broadway in Uptown and ends near the intersection of Diversey Parkway and Sheridan Road in Lincoln Park, with the streets lined with over 750,000 people, entertainers, and food and drink vendors. The party will continue late into the night at the many clubs in the Boystown neighborhood.
4. Orlando, Florida
Given the events that occurred in the Floridian city, we should all be keen to throw our support behind Orlando's Come Out With Pride festival, which will surely take on added significance this year. Although you will have to wait until October, you'll surely appreciate the cooler weather of the fall season to enjoy celebrating with upwards of 150,000 people around Lake Eola Park in downtown Orlando. A full week of Pride-related festivities will run from October 3 to October 9, with the main event, the Orlando Come Out With Pride Festival and Parade, taking place on Saturday, October 8.
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