The Art of Pride
Entertaining and enlightening events with a lavender hue
Compiled by Scott Stiffler
HERITAGE OF PRIDE
When grown men sashay down Fifth Avenue clad only in short shorts and large butterfly wings, it’s a sure bet that even for the gays, this is not business as usual. See your share of unusual business — presented with pride — when you cheer on those who participate in the Heritage of Pride March.
What began in 1970 as an annual civil rights demonstration has morphed into a closet-busting celebration of gays, lesbians, bisexuals, the transgendered and every other permutation of our ever-expanding queer rainbow. This year, the parade route has been shortened. It starts at Noon, on 36th St. and Fifth Ave. Presented by Heritage of Pride, the Sun., June 27th March is just the tip of a hot little queer iceberg.
Also on June 27th, HOP’s “PrideFest” takes place from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Hudson Street (btw. Abingdon Sq. & West 14th St.). Putting those sunglasses and gyro-clogged street fairs to shame, this family-friendly street festival brings together vendors, entertainers, and community activities. Not for the kids is the always packed and top-shelf sexy “Dance on the Pier” (at Pier 54, 13th St. at the West Side Highway). The shirtless gay shindig begins at 4 p.m. (fireworks at 10:30 p.m.). Tickets are $75 ($100 at the door). To purchase, get a map of the March route and access more Heritage of Pride info., check out www.nycpride.org.
NYC DYKE MARCH
While Heritage of Pride’s June 27th March has strayed from its overtly political roots to include everyone and everything under the sun, the NYC Dyke March puts politics front and center and every other place around the grid. On June 26th, the 18th Annual NYC Dyke March steps off from Bryant Park (W. 42nd St. and Fifth Ave.) at 5pm, sharp. If past years are any indication, some 15,000 “self-identified women” will participate in the March, “and even more women and allies” will cheer them on. This year, the self-identified protest march brings to the forefront women’s visibility in the LGBTQI community and queer women’s rights. That’s a good enough reason to show up and support them — no matter what your sexual orientation is. For more information, visit www.dykemarchnyc.org.
OUT IN THE HIMALAYAS
The bad news? You’ve missed most of the events in the Rubin Museum of Art’s “OUT in the Himalayas” program (a June Wed. night lecture series addressing gay, lesbian and transgender issues). The good news? There’s one left, and it should be a doozy. On June 30th, Sunil Pant — the first openly gay Nepali parliamentarian — asks “Will Gay Marriage be Adopted in the World’s Youngest Democracy, Nepal?” Pant will also talk about “pink tourism” in Nepal and the work done by the Blue Diamond Society (his LGBT rights organization). For tickets ($15; $7 for students), visit www.rmanyc.org/out or call 212-620-5000 x344. At the Rubin Museum of Art (150 W. 17th St., at Seventh Ave.).
PRIDE GOES EAST
The Lower East Side (which apparently has some queer residents) has been celebrating Pride all month long. “Pride Goes East” is a partnership between Fourth Arts Block (FAB) and the Lower East Side Business Improvement District (LES BID). It’s hard to single out highlights, but here it goes: The “Lower East Side Shop-a-thon” happens through June 26th. Drop some cash at sponsoring businesses and they’ll make a donation to the Hetrick-Martin Institute (home of the Harvey Milk School). “Too Much PRIDE Makes the Baby Go Gay: 30 Gay Plays in 60 Straight Minutes” takes place June 25th & 26th, 10:30 p.m. (at The Kraine Theater, 85 E. 4th St.). “HyperGender Burlesque Presents: The Gay Divorce Show” happens June 26th, 10 p.m. at WOW Cafe Theatre (59-61 E. 4th St.). “Downtown Double Feature” screens on June 26th, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and offers the chance to see “Rent” and “Torch Song Trilogy” — two films that started as plays on East 4th Street. See those flicks at Millennium Film Workshop (66-68 East 4th St.). This teen-friendly event is made even sweeter thanks to free cupcakes provided by the Lower East Side Girls’ Club. For details on all these activities, check out www.fabnyc.org and www.lowereastsideny.com.
A NIGHT IN VEGAS
What has become of our once-great nation? Even shrines of sleaze like Las Vegas have morphed into family-friendly theme parks where what happens there stays there — mostly because what passes for naughtiness is so tame not even Aunt Erma will blush. Leave it to the gays to put the sex back in Sin City. “A Night in Vegas” has six profane little vignettes covering topics like male prostitutes, anonymous sex and gay marriage. Open-ended run. Thurs. – Sat., 10:30 p.m. at the Bleecker Street Theatre (45 Bleecker St.). For tickets ($50-$35), visit www.Telecharge.com. Warning (or enticement?): This show contains nudity. Reason enough to visit www.anightinvegasoffbroadway.com.
Is it too much of a downer to remind you that AIDS is still a big problem that requires constant vigilance on the part of gay men? Maybe some art will help the medicine go down. Visual AIDS (www.visualaids.org ) uses art to fight AIDS by provoking dialogue, supporting HIV+ artists, and preserving a legacy. “To Believe” is a group exhibition curated by Jeffrey Walkowiak on behalf of Visual AIDS. Works, screenings, and performances bring together a selection of artists and artworks that incorporate the actions and practices related to a range of metaphysical beliefs. Through the portrayal of rituals, events and the characters who perform them, the artists embrace and sometimes question the conclusiveness of these practices. Thurs.–Sun. 1–6 p.m. through June 27th, at La MaMa La Galleria (6 E. 1st St.). Sunday, June 27th from 4–8 p.m., see a performance by Ben Judd and Blanko & Noiry. For more information, call 212-505-2476.
Why do they call it gay marriage — and why don’t they call it white marriage or diabetic marriage? Matthew Cleaver’s “Gay Blues” asks these and other questions surrounding the comedy jackpot topic of same sex unions. As curious as he is pissed off, Cleaver sets his sights on gay marriage as a telling litmus test of people’s true capacity for tolerance. July 2nd, 3rd at 10 p.m. and July 5th at 7:30 p.m. — at the Barrow Street Theatre (27 Barrow St. at Seventh Ave. South). For tickets ($20), call 212-868-4444, or in person at the Barrow Street Theatre box office (open at 1 p.m. daily). Special activities include: July 2nd: Marriage Equality Dance Party in the theatre following the performance. July 3rd: Duplex Night (all ticket holders receive $2 off your drinks at The Duplex following the performance). July 5th: Equality Gay-la – pre-show reception beginning at 7 p.m. with local politicians and celebrity guests.
“Coming Out” commemorates the vital (but not often recognized) role played by LGBTQ people throughout the history of Harlem — from the 1920s to the present day. Since 2005, the sponsoring gallery, Casa Frela, has opened its doors to LGBTQ artists primarily living in Harlem. For this particular event, several institutions that have been fundamental in fostering tolerance as well as a diverse future come together. Those organizations include Black AIDS Institute, Callen-Lorde, FIERCE, Folsom Street Fair, Harlem United Community AIDS Center, Human Rights Campaign, Imperial Court of New York, Leslie and Lohman Gay Art Foundation, LIVE OUT LOUD, PFLAG, SAGE, SALGA, The Center and The Hetrick-Martin Institute. Google them one and all, and your small investment of time will up your LGBTQ IQ considerably. It will also help you better appreciate the exhibit — which is on view through July 12th, at Casa Frela Gallery (47 West 119th St., btw. Lenox and Fifth Avenues). For more info., call 212-722-8577 or visit www.casafrela.com. Gallery hours: Noon to 4 p.m. daily.