The 2019 Travelzoo Pride Guide to NYC, Presented by Alaska Airlines

Jun 12, 2019

It was the early hours of June 28, 1969, when a police raid on a New York gay bar changed LGBTQ+ history in America forever. At the time, such raids were commonplace—but on this occasion, patrons at the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village refused to submit. They fought back. Their resistance kickstarted what would become a week of civil unrest that, in turn, birthed the modern gay rights movement.

50 years of patience, persistence, and sometimes-halting, sometimes-inspiring, never-quite-enough progress later, New York’s 2019 Pride celebrations have been rebranded Stonewall50 in honor of that moment. This year’s theme, “Millions of Moments of Pride,” conjures the remarkable variety of the LGBTQ+ experience, and the difference that even the smallest gestures of visibility can make.

A landmark anniversary is reason enough for this year’s Pride celebrations to be supersized, but why stop there? WorldPride, the globe-spanning festival that began in Rome in 2000 to pay tribute to the diversity of the queer community across the world, will also come to New York this month following appearances in Jerusalem, Toronto, London, and Madrid.  

That means there’s never been a better, more exciting time to plan a rainbow-powered trip here. Following tradition, the Pride March itself takes place on the last Sunday in June, making June 28-30 the peak weekend for parties and events. The march is a highlight in the city’s calendar, and a joyous, irresistible experience, especially with a little planning.

But as the LGBTQ+ community has grown larger, more visible, and more diverse, the Pride festivities have expanded beyond these three days: After all, 31% of those born after 1997, known as centennials, identify on the spectrum, compared with just 8% of Baby Boomers. So now the entire month of June is packed with LGBTQ+-themed exhibitions, concerts, parties, and events. And of course, allies are more than welcome to enjoy them, too. (And they should!)

Expect the queer community’s favorite restaurants, bars, and clubs to be busier—and prouder—than ever. There’s also increasing acknowledgement and inclusion of LGBTQ+ families in this month’s program. And beyond the Pride festivities, this is one of the best times to visit New York, with free outdoor concerts and plays across the city—plus a concert or two by Hugh Jackman, and a special appearance by none other than Madonna.

The only challenge in visiting New York during Stonewall50/WorldPride? Squeezing everything you’ll want to do into your schedule.

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