Photo Credit: Photo Credit: Michele Pevide
Heading To New York For Pride? Here Are Some Things To Know As A First Timer
May is gone and you know what that means: it’s Pride month! You could celebrate many places, but New York really knows how to add extra seasoning to an already flavorful period. Sure, you’ve seen the photos and videos from past Pride events. But all of that pales in comparison to actually attending. Whether you’re in the parade or just watching, there’s plenty of fun to be had by all.
Here’s what to know if you’re attending New York City Pride as a first-timer.
Where Does The Pride March In New York Take Place?
On June 25th, lower Manhattan surges to life with floats, dancing, music, and tons of spectators. It’s meant to start at noon on the dot. However, if you’ve ever been to past Pride marches, you know there’s always a technical difficulty or something else that causes a delay.
Head to 25th and 5th Avenue, where the procession takes off. The D, 4, 5, 6, N, Q and R trains stop nearby. The parade heads south on 5th Avenue and turns west on 8th Street. Once it has crossed to 6th Avenue, it continues on Christopher Street and passes the Stonewall Inn, where the gay rights movement was born. Finally, the procession heads north on 7th Avenue and concludes on 16th Street.
Arrive On The Early Side
If you want the best “seats” in the house (you’ll be standing, most likely), arrive early. Some people get creative by climbing traffic poles or finding elevated platforms to sit or stand on. Not advised, but if you decide to do this, be careful.
Sort Out Your Accommodations In Advance
If you can book accommodations in Manhattan, that might be your best bet. You can look for ones in Chelsea, or down in the village if you prefer. Staying in the other boroughs is an option as well, especially if you’re looking to save money.
The Crowds Are No Joke
New York is crowded as it is, especially in the summer. When it hosted World Pride in 2019, approximately 5 million people attended. You’ll see all kinds of attendees: singles, couples, pets, families, and so on. Suffice it to say, if you’re intimidated by or uncomfortable with crowds, this won’t be your bag.
If you want to celebrate pride on a smaller scale, Brooklyn, Staten Island, Queens, and The Bronx all have Pride events throughout the month. Check online for the dates.
Stay Hydrated, But…
When that sun is beating down, the last thing you want to do is pass out from dehydration. Keep water with you, but also be aware that it might be challenging to find an establishment that’ll let you use the bathroom without buying something.
Wear Comfortable Attire
No telling how the drag queens manage in heels for all those hours, but the average person probably can’t. You’re going to be standing and dancing, so sneakers and flats are the way to go.
As for your outfit? Wear what makes you comfortable, and know that everybody’s idea of comfortable varies. You’ll see people wearing pasties and thongs. You might also see women who are topless. According to AM New York, “It has been legal for women to be topless in New York in public since 1992.”
Expect To See Those Who Don’t Approve
Sadly, not everybody supports the LGBT+ community. Don’t be intimidated by the folks holding up incendiary signs. Honestly, most locals see them as a joke more than a threat. They’re always outnumbered, and their chants are drowned out by the cheering and music.
Happy Pride Month!