Pride NYC: The Best Parades, Events, and Hotels for 2016

Photo Credit: nyhabitat.co
Photo Credit: nyhabitat.co

If you want to come out to celebrate the LGBT community, then participating in Pride Week is pretty much a no-brainer. A time devoted to promoting and exploring gay and lesbian communities, the celebration (which runs through Sunday) is perhaps at its best in New York City. Yet with so many events going on that will both enlighten and simply be a fun time, it can be hard to know exactly when and where to go. Here is a list of the happenings and hotels worthy of your trip to The Big Apple for Gay Pride Week.

As of this posting, the recent tragedy in Orlando will not keep the scheduled New York City festivities from happening. If anything, it will make the celebration that much more inspiring, as attendees show solidarity with Orlando. With that being said, security is being beefed up throughout the city for the week.

Events

The March

  • When: Sunday, June 26 at noon
  • Where: Throughout the city

This is more than just a common parade (well, technically, a march). It’s more like the biggest LGBT party in the nation, one that draws visitors from around the globe. 

It’s a tradition that started in 1970 and still continues in its original mission of gay and lesbian empowerment. Another core purpose is to draw attention to the struggle against AIDS and to remember the people who have suffered and died because of the disease. 

To make the time even more special, awards are handed out every year for the best float, dance performance, and music performancet. Viewing The March is free and open to the public. No tickets are required. The parade begins at 36th street and Fifth Avenue and ends in the West Village.

Strike A Pose Screening

  • When: Monday, June 20 at 7:30 p.m.
  • Where: SVA Theatre, 333 West 23rd St.

Female professional dancers get all the attention in the media, especially film. But what about the guys dancing in their shadows, so to speak? If that sounds interesting (and it is), then go see an exclusive pre-release screening of Strike A Pose.

Following the seven male dancers who were featured in Madonna’s controversial 1990 Blonde Ambition tour, the documentary shows how these men tore down walls surrounding the LGBT community and gave the members a voice. It discusses how they stayed true to themselves while facing various challenges on the tour.

After the screening, join some of the actual dancers from the film for a talkback session and an after-party, where the Reyka vodka will be flowing.

Dance on the Pier

  • Where: Sunday, June 26, 2 p.m. to 10 p.m.
  • When: Hudson River Park, Pier 26

If you’re 21 and over (and travel light -- the NYPD is enforcing a no-bag policy), Dance on the Pier may be the highlight of your week. The largest fundraiser for the LGBT community, it’s an afternoon of dancing and the hottest entertainers, ending with a fireworks display over the Hudson River. Artists include Ben Baker, the dynamic DJ duo Hoxton Whore, the collective Honey Soundsystem, and many more.

All proceeds from this event go towards future NYC Pride events and local organizations that give back to the gay community.

Femme Fatale

  • When: Sunday, June 26, 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Where: Hudson Terrace, 621 W. 46th St.

Take your Sunday night to a new level at a women-exclusive rooftop party at Hudson Terrace. Just because Pride Week is starting to wind down doesn’t mean you have to.

Dance above one of the most beautiful cities in the world to the music of three fantastic DJs: Citizen Jane, Mary Mac, and Tatiana. Usher in a new era for women at the one of the largest LGBT rooftop parties in the country

Oh, and the weather is a non-issue. If it rains, guests will be able to take cover under a retractable roof.  Also, just in case things get too hot, Nitro blasters will be installed to cool the crowd.

Hotels

The Muse - Kimpton

There are few hotels as dedicated to the LGBT community as The Muse (pictured above). The first hotel company to receive a 100-percent rating on the Corporate Equality Index, Kimpton has been a community favorite for years. The Muse is a sponsor of “Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays,” and gives out special LGBT discounts, like the Summer of Pride promotion.

In the unlikely event you’re not into the bar scene at the adjacent NIOS restaurant (freshly revamped with a chic black-and-cream palette), The Muse is in the middle of Times Square, a short walk to various gay bars in the theater district.

SIXTY

One of the hippest places to stay in SoHo, Sixty is one of three boutique Thompson hotels in the city. This luxe property shows the love for the gay and lesbian community, using nondiscriminatory hiring policies and a comprehensive benefits program specifically for all LGBT employees. Acceptance rules the day here. 

The trendy nightlife scene in the area is also home to fantastic restaurants and designer shopping. Also, if you’re into celeb spotting, the members-only rooftop bar A60 is a known hot spot for musicians and A list actors, such as George Clooney. Yes, all hotel guests are considered members.

The Out

It began as the city’s first hotel specifically for openly gay international travelers and has a long history of inviting in the LGBT community. Its airy lobby areas, including a glass-covered atrium, on-site nightclub, and three (count 'em) outdoor patios show off the hotel’s sophisticated vibe.

It has over 105 rooms, all paying homage to modern, sleek design. The accommodations live up to the lofty statement made by the common areas, what with Internet-enabled HD televisions, dreamy beds (think feather pillows and uber high-thread-count sheets), but no closets. Why? Because you don’t need to be in one at The Out. However, note that the owners have run into some controversy with the LGBT community in the past.

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