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Pride day trips

Baltimore, New York and more among regional June offerings

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The Empire State Building illuminated for Pride last year. (Blade file photo by Michael Key)

Capital Pride is far from the only gay Pride event in the region with fabulous festivities and must-see entertainment. Those celebrating the LGBT community can continue the fun by taking road-trips to pride festivals in Baltimore, New York and the Outer Banks, N.C.

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The Baltimore Pride Celebration has been Maryland’s largest LGBT visibility event since 1975. Baltimore’s Pride Parade and Block Party are on June 16 from 4-10 p.m. in the heart of the city’s historic gay neighborhood, Mount Vernon. The Pride Festival on June 17 is held in lakeside Druid Hill Park from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Baltimore Pride attracts roughly 30,000 people annually from all over the Mid-Atlantic. Trevor Ankeny, co-chair of Baltimore Pride, expects an even higher turnout this year.

“I think with the new attractions more people will want to come check them out,” Ankeny says. “We have more activities going on during the day. Before we had a lot of entertainment without many activities.”

One of the new attractions is the Adult Zone, a tent at the Block Party where guests can mingle with adult film stars such as Max Ryder and Pierre Fitch. Dance Dance Revolution! (DDR!) is another new addition at the Block Party. The Pride Festival Family Zone will expand this year, with carnival games brought by Camp Highlight (a summer camp for children of LGBT parents) and arts and crafts activities. Up-and-coming pop artist Neon Hitch is the Block Party’s headlining performer.

“She’s a really good performance artist. She definitely has dance hits right now,” Ankeny says. “I think she’ll really put on a good show. She’s different and unique.”

Neon Hitch is quickly garnering popularity. She recently collaborated with Gym Class Heroes on their hit track “Ass Back Home,” and her delightfully provocative song “F U Betta” went to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play Charts. She already has developed a strong gay fan base by going on a U.S. gay club tour last year and performing at Las Vegas Pride.

Other Baltimore Pride events include Twilight on the Terrace, a cocktail party benefiting Baltimore Pride on June 15 at Gertrude’s Restaurant at the Baltimore Museum of Art (10 Art Museum Dr. Baltimore, Md.) from 7-11 p.m., and the High Heel Race at 3 p.m. on June 16 (corner of Charles and Read Streets in Baltimore). For more details on Baltimore Pride, visit baltimorepride.org.

Philadelphia and Pittsburgh have their Pride festivals and parades the same weekend as D.C.’s, so hitting those would be tough but they’ve both lined up solid guests. Talk show host Wendy Williams will be in Philly (phillypride.org) and Melissa Etheridge will headline with a 90-minute concert in Pittsburgh (pittsburghpride.org).

New York City Pride, of course, is a hugely popular weeklong celebration of LGBT visibility. The NYC Pride Rally kicks off the week’s festivities on June 16 from 3-6 p.m. at the East River Bandshell. The Rally features motivating speakers and popular performers, with Jai Rodgriguez from Chelsea Lately as this year’s MCs.

The NYC Pride March has been an annual civil rights demonstration free and open to the public since 1970. The march starts on June 24 at noon at 36 St. and 5 Ave.  Cyndi Lauper is one of the grand marshals of the event. Following the march is PrideFest, a massive LGBT public street fair with vendors and entertainers on Hudson Street between Abdingdon Square and West 14 Street. PrideFest is from 11 a.m.-7 p.m.

NYC Pride has many other events during the week, finishing with the glamorous Dance on the Pier party on June 24 from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. at Pier 57 in Hudson River Park. Tickets are $90 and $165 for VIP passes, and all proceeds go to NYC Pride Week events and community organizations. For more details on NYC Pride, visit nycpride.org.

OBX Pridefest is another exciting series of gay pride events from June 13-17 in the Outer Banks, N.C. Although it is much smaller than the pride festivals in Baltimore or New York, there will be plenty of wonderful beachside activities to participate in, such as the Pride and Joy Booze Cruise aboard the Crystal Dawn on June 15. The cruise starts at Pirate’s Cove Marina in Manteo, N.C., at 6 p.m., and features an open bar and DJ.

The OBX Gay Pride Festival is June 16 from noon to 6 p.m. at the First Colony Inn in Nags Head (6720 South Virginia Dare Trail Nags Head, N.C.). The event will have various bands, tons of food, arts and crafts, and a pool party all afternoon. The Pride and Joy Beach Party with DJ Airrick is on the following Sunday, with a sand sculpting contest and Jell-o wrestling right on Nags Head beach behind the First Colony Inn. To find out more on the many other events at OBX Pridefest, visit obxpridefest.com.

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Out & About

Mayor’s office to host Pride tie-dye party

Guests to make colorful shirts for ‘PEACE. LOVE. REVOLUTION’ theme

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(Photo by Prime Look/Bigstock)

The Mayor’s Office for LGBTQ Affairs will host “Love Out Loud: Tie Dye Party for Pride” on Wednesday, June 7 at 5 p.m. at the Frank D. Reeves Center of Municipal Affairs.

The event, hosted along with the DC Center for the LGBT Community and Capital Pride Alliance, will be an afternoon for community and artistry. Guests are encouraged to bring their creativity to make some colorful tie-dye shirts in line with this year’s Pride theme, “PEACE. LOVE. REVOLUTION.”

This event is free to attend and more details are available on Eventbrite

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Out & About

D.C. to celebrate LGBTQ poetry

Pride Poem-a-Day presents second installation

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(Screen capture via Vimeo)

DC Pride Poem-a-Day will present its second installation of short videos featuring LGBTQ poetry from the Washington, D.C. area to celebrate Pride month.

A new video will be released each day in June and will feature different poets reading an original poem on the theme of “heritage.”

The videos highlight LGBTQ poets from a variety of backgrounds, ethnicities, races, and countries of origin, and also poets from minority religions, multi-lingual, and disabled. 
To access the poetry, visit DC Pride Poems’ website.

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Calendar

Calendar: June 2-8

LGBTQ events in the days to come

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Friday, June 2

Center Aging: Friday Tea Time will be at 2 p.m. on Zoom. This event is a social hour for older LGBTQ+ adults. Guests can bring a beverage of choice. For more information, contact [email protected].

Go Gay DC will host “LGBTQ+ Pride Kickoff Social” at 7 p.m. at The Commentary. This event is ideal to make new friends in the LGBTQ community and enjoy the bottomless happy hour specials at Puro Gusto. Admission is free and more details are available on Eventbrite.

Saturday, June 3

Virtual Yoga Class with Jesse Z. will be at 12 p.m. online. This is a weekly class focusing on yoga, breath work, and meditation. Guests are encouraged to RSVP on the DC Center’s website, providing your name, email address, and zip code, along with any questions you may have. A link to the event will be sent at 6 pm the day before.

LGBTQ People of Color Support Group will be at 1 p.m. on Zoom. LGBTQ People of Color can come together and talk about anything affecting them in a space that strives to be safe and judgment free. There are all sorts of activities like watching movies, poetry events, storytelling, and just hanging out with others. For more details, visit thedccenter.org/poc or facebook.com/centerpoc.

Project DC Events will host “DC Pride Crawl” at 2 p.m. at Dupont Circle’s best bars. Guests are encouraged to put on their brightest and most colorful outfit, grab friends, and enjoy a day of drinks and celebration. Tickets start at $20 and can be purchased on Eventbrite

Sunday, June 4

AfroCode DC will be at 4 p.m. at Decades DC. This event will be an experience of non-stop music, dancing, and good vibes and a crossover of genres and a fusion of cultures. Tickets cost $40 and can be purchased on Eventbrite.

“Largest LGBTQIA+ Singles Flamingle” will be at 7 p.m. at THRoW Social DC. Guests can enjoy signature cocktail and wine specials, food, games, and live music while mingling with single people in the local LGBTQ community. This event is free and more details are available on Eventbrite.

Monday, June 5

Center Aging Monday Coffee and Conversation will be at 10 a.m. on Zoom. LGBT Older Adults — and friends — are invited to enjoy friendly conversations and to discuss any issues you might be dealing with. For more information, visit the Center Aging’s Facebook or Twitter.

Capital Pride Interfaith Service Planning Meeting will be at 6 p.m. on Zoom. The Capital Pride Interfaith Service is an “integrated service” respectfully demonstrating the breadth, depth, and sincerity of our faith, exposing the lie that anti-gay fundamentalists have a monopoly on faith and religion. For more details, [email protected]

Tuesday, June 6

Go Gay DC will host “LGBTQ+ Pride Reception” at 5 p.m. at Turkish Coffee Lady. This event is to foster cross-cultural connectedness and make friends in the LGBTQ+ and allied community. Attendance is free and more details are available on Eventbrite.

Pride on the Patio Events will host “LGBTQ+ Social Mixer” at 5:30 p.m. at Showroom. Dress is casual, fancy, or comfortable and guests are encouraged to bring the most authentic you to chat, laugh, and get a little crazy. This event is free and more details are available on Eventbrite

Wednesday, June 7

Job Club will be at 6 p.m. on Zoom. This is a weekly job support program to help job entrants and seekers, including the long-term unemployed, improve self-confidence, motivation, resilience and productivity for effective job searches and networking — allowing participants to move away from being merely “applicants” toward being “candidates.” For more information, email [email protected] or visit thedccenter.org/careers.

Center Aging Women’s Social & Discussion Group will be at 6:00p.m. on Zoom. This group is a place where older LGBTQ+ women can meet and socialize with one another. To register, visit the DC Center’s website

Thursday, June 8

KINETIC Presents will host “KINETIC Pride 2023 DC Weekend Pass” at 10 p.m. at four D.C. venues. This partnership with Capital Pride Alliance will feature a performance by global pop star Betty Who at Echostage, stunning visuals, and top talent. Tickets start at $149 and can be purchased on Eventbrite

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