Pride Month is celebrated in June each year in honor of the LGBTQIA+ community and the progressive change that has occurred in the last decade and throughout history. Pride month is celebrated in June to commemorate the riots led by the LGBTQIA+ community following a police raid at Stonewall Inn on June 28, 1969 in New York City. Many view what is now known as the “Stonewall Riots” as the turning point in history for the LGBTQIA+ community. It was a movement started by transgender women of color fighting for the right to exist without being brutalized and killed.
To celebrate Pride Month, millions of people from all over the globe gather year after year to participate in marches, parades, concerts, protests, workshops and more. Throughout the month, participants honor members of the LGBTQIA+ community who have lost their lives.
As a symbol of support, LGBTQIA+ community members and advocates proudly carry the rainbow flag, originally created by Gilbert Baker, an American artist, gay rights activist and U.S. Army veteran. According to Baker’s website, the colors of the LGBT flag each have a meaning: red for life, orange for healing, yellow for sunlight, green for nature, blue for harmony and violet for spirit. In 2017 the flag was altered in Philadelphia to add black and brown symbolizing the fight against racism while honoring black and brown members of the gay community. Most recently in 2018, a five colored chevron pattern including black, brown, light pink, light blue and white was added to the flag to be further inclusive of people of color and transgender individuals, it is known as the Progress Pride Flag.
Please join us as we support and stand with our sisters who are proud members of the LGBTQIA+ community, not just in the month of June, but all year long.
Check out the events listed below for a Pride Month event near you!
Athens, Georgia: June 3
Located about 70 miles away from Atlanta, Athens is known for several LGBTQ milestones.
It was here that the B-52s got their start. Another rock band also came from Athens – R.E.M. Both bands feature queer members. Additionally, in 1971, University of Georgia students created the Committee on Gay Education, which later evolved into the Lambda Alliance – an officially recognized student organization.
In 1989, the Boybutante AIDS Foundation was created to provide support to those living with HIV and AIDS and to the community. The foundation runs a yearly Boybutante Ball. Gay, Lesbian or Bisexual Employees Supporters (GLOBES) was created as a support group for staff at the University of Georgia in 1994. The organization would later set the framework for other LGBTQ events with the creation of its yearly potluck picnic. Fast forward to 2022, when the city held its first Pride parade.
To learn more, visit the Athens Pride & Queer Collective website.
Baltimore: June 24
Located about 40 miles from Washington, D.C., Baltimore is considered one of the most LGBTQ-friendly cities in the U.S. Its historic Mount Vernon neighborhood was considered one the area’s biggest gay havens before that sentiment expanded to other neighborhoods too. Queer filmmaker John Waters, known for movies such as “Hairspray” and “Pink Flamingos,” is a Baltimore native. The city is also home to one of the oldest Pride events in the U.S.
Baltimore Pride has been running since 1975. This year’s Pride theme is “One Heart, One Love, One Pride,” in honor of “the contributions made to society by sexual and gender minorities.” Hosted by the Pride Center of Maryland, several events will be held during the week of June 17 to 25.
Boston: June 10
Boston – or “Beantown,” as it’s affectionately nicknamed – is rich with U.S. history as well as LGBTQ history. In 1978, attorney John Ward established the GLBTQ Legal Advocates and Defenders, formerly known as the Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD), in Boston. The city is also home to Wicked Queer, originally called the Boston LGBT Film Festival, which was founded in 1984; it’s among the longest-running LGBTQ film festivals in North America.
This year’s Pride celebration will take place on June 10 with a parade and festival. It’s the first in-person celebration in four years and comes with a few changes. The city’s Pride event will now be managed by Boston Pride For The People after the original Boston Pride organization was dissolved in 2021. The festivities are set to be nonstop with live entertainment, vendors and food.
For more information, visit the Boston Pride For The People website.
Chicago: June 25
With stunning architecture, vibrant nightlife and plenty of places to grab a bite, Chicago is a traveler favorite year-round – and yet another destination full of LGBTQ history and culture.
The Windy City is where the first gay rights organization in the U.S. was established: The Society of Human Rights was founded by Henry Gerber in 1924. His former home, the Henry Gerber House, has become the second National Historic Landmark designated for its association with LGBTQ history – Stonewall was the first. Chicago is fittingly home to the biggest Pride parade in the Midwest, which will occur on June 25 this year.
The parade on average sees more than 1 million spectators in attendance; it runs through the Boystown neighborhood, which in 1997 Chicago declared the “official gay village.” Expect to see colorful floats, decorated vehicles and marching bands celebrating Pride.
Check out the Chicago Pride website for more information.
Columbus, Ohio: June 17
Ohio’s capital and biggest city is one of the fastest-growing and most LGBTQ-friendly cities in the country. As such, Columbus holds the second-largest Pride march in the Midwest. Second only to Chicago Pride in the region, Columbus welcomes over 750,000 spectators to its Pride festival and march.
With the “Purpose. Passion. Power.” theme, this year’s Pride intends to remember how the Stonewall uprisings set the framework for Pride and represents the purpose of Pride protests. The theme also encompasses the passion in LGBTQ communities to make strides forward and the power people have to effect change no matter the circumstance.
Check out the Stonewall Columbus website for more information.
Denver: June 25
When you think of Denver, what probably springs to mind is the nearby Rocky Mountain National Park or the urban atmosphere of the city with its numerous breweries and museums. But Denver also has an energetic LGBTQ scene with multiple gay-friendly bars, hotels and Pride events.
The annual Denver PrideFest weekend is the largest Pride event in the Rocky Mountain region, typically drawing more than 525,000 participants to its festivities.
Check out the Denver Pride website for more information.
Detroit: June 11
Pride events were established to celebrate – but also to fight for LGBTQ rights. The state of Michigan made headlines in March 2023, when Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed into law an amendment to the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act. With this legislation, LGBTQ Michigan residents will now be explicitly protected from discrimination on the basis of sex and gender identity.
Like many cities after Stonewall, Detroit had an uprising of its own. The Motor City’s first Pride march was held in 1972. The march has gone through its own evolution since then and expanded to include a PrideFest celebration. In 2003, the festival was given its current name: Motor City Pride. The celebration has more than 50,000 participants yearly.
Houston: June 24
Houston’s nicknames reflect many aspects of the city’s history. Whether you know it as the “Bayou City” for its multiple rivers, “Space City” for its role in space exploration, or just simply “H-Town” for its culture and entertainment, Houston has it all for travelers. Bigger is better in the Lone Star State, and Pride events are no exception. Houston Pride is one of the biggest Pride celebrations in both Texas and the U.S.
Last year, around 850,000 spectators attended the Houston Pride Parade. The 2023 parade takes place at night on June 24 around the downtown area by the city hall. Enjoy tricked-out vehicles and floats, with flags in rainbow and various other color combinations to represent different LGBTQ communities.
Check out the Houston Pride 365 website for more information.
Los Angeles: June 11
Los Angeles is home to one of the largest populations of LGBTQ people in the U.S., and the city has played a huge role in gay rights history. One of the first lesbian publications, Vice Versa, was published in the late 1940s in Los Angeles. The first Supreme Court case that dealt with homosexuality and First Amendment rights – One Inc. v. Olesen in 1958 – centered on the Los Angeles government’s attempt to censor a gay magazine. LA was also at the epicenter of one of the earliest organized LGBTQ protests after the police raid at The Black Cat Tavern in the Silver Lake neighborhood. It’s only fitting that the city holds one of the largest Pride parades in the country.
Start the festivities at LA Pride in the Park, held in the 32-acre Los Angeles State Park from June 9 to 10. You can see performances by rapper Megan Thee Stallion and singer Mariah Carey. The festival will also have food, cocktails, vendors and LGBTQ exhibitors. On June 11, become a paradegoer at the annual LA Pride Parade. Marvel at floats, twirlers and performers as they make their way down the parade route.
Visit the LA Pride website for further details.
Minneapolis and St. Paul: June 25
The Minneapolis – St. Paul metropolitan region has its own share of LGBTQ history. In 1975, Minneapolis became the first U.S. city to pass a nondiscrimination ordinance; since then, the area has cultivated a reputation as one of the friendliest cities for LGBTQ people in the country – and even earned the distinction of being one of the “gayest” U.S. cities. The Twin Cities’ massive Pride parade is one of the biggest in the Midwest and nationwide.
Twin Cities Pride held its first parade in 1972. The march this year starts on Hennepin Avenue in downtown Minneapolis and ends in Loring Park on June 25.
To learn more, consult the Twin Cities Pride website.
New Orleans: June 10
New Orleans is a year-round LGBTQ-friendly destination where art, culture, food, music and history collide. The city is home to Café Lafitte in Exile, one of the oldest gay bars in the U.S., and Fat Monday Luncheon, one of Louisiana’s oldest organized LGBTQ events. Visitors will find plenty of things to do in the “Crescent City” for Pride Month – or at any other time of year.
Before the Pride parade commences, spend the day at New Orleans PrideFest, a block party where guests can partake in food and entertainment. Travelers may like that the NOLA Pride Parade is not a daytime celebration but rather one at night, taking you through the Marigny and French Quarter neighborhoods. See extravagant floats, dance troupes and musical ensembles parading the streets – not to mention all the rainbow flags.
Visit the New Orleans Pride website for further details.
New York City: June 25
Every year New York City throws one of the biggest Pride celebrations in the world. In 2019, the city was chosen to host WorldPride, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of Stonewall and bringing an estimated 5 million people to New York to partake in its Pride events.
This year’s NYC Pride theme is “Strength in Solidarity.” The theme “highlights the cultural significance of the LGBTQIA community within the fabric of modern society, while acknowledging every individual’s uniqueness and ability to wield tremendous power when united with others,” according to NYC Pride.
Check out NYC Pride’s website for more information.
Norfolk, Virginia: June 24
The first community Pride event in the Hampton Roads area was a potluck picnic in June 1986 held by the Mandamus Society. The group, which would later be known as the Hampton Roads Pride, has been hosting annual summertime Pride events since 1997.
This year’s Pride theme is “Break Free 23.” The celebration will expand its focus beyond the Norfolk area to also collaborate with the six other Hampton Roads cities such as Virginia Beach and Newport News, as well as beyond the Tidewater area to ensure LGBTQ voices are breaking free to be heard.
Check out Hampton Roads Pride website for more information.
Paducah, Kentucky: June 3
Paducah, Kentucky, is situated between the Tennessee and Ohio Rivers and is the halfway point between St. Louis, Missouri, and Nashville, Tennessee. In recent years, the designated UNESCO Creative City has made headway in establishing a more supportive environment for LGBTQ communities.
In 2022, Paducah held its first Pridefest. Almost 2,000 people were in attendance for the inaugural event. The second annual Paducah Pridefest will be held on June 3. According to the organizers, expect bigger and better this year. Former “American Idol” contestant Noah Davis will be the music headliner. Festivalgoers can also enjoy performances by drag artists Roxxxy Andrews and Heidi N Closet, both of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” fame, as well as Landon Cider from “The Boulet Brothers’ Dragula.” The fest will also have live music from local entertainers, food and vendors. Paducah Pridefest does request a suggested donation for entry to the festival.
For more information, check out the Paducah PrideFest’s Facebook page.
Providence, Rhode Island: June 17
Providence is a city with a small-town vibe and a vibrant arts community. Its first Pride event was held in 1976 after a court ruling allowed the gay community to march through the city. About 75 people marched in that parade. Today that number has grown to 125,000-plus attendees to its annual PrideFest.
The 47th Annual Rhode Island PrideFest & Illuminated Night Parade will take place on June 17. During the day, you can enjoy more than 250 nonprofit vendors, live entertainment and plenty of food. This Providence festival is one of Rhode Island’s biggest festivals with more than 100,000 attendees yearly.
The Rhode Island Pride Illuminated Night Parade is New England’s only nighttime LGBTQ parade. Paradegoers can expect to see buildings and floats light up as participants make their way through downtown Providence after dusk.
For more details, consult the Rhode Island Pride website.
Provincetown, Massachusetts: June 3
Located at the northern tip of Cape Cod, Provincetown, Massachusetts, is rich in history. This seaside town is the site where the Mayflower first landed in 1620 and serves as one of the oldest continuous art colonies in the U.S.
For more than half a century, the city has been hailed as an LGBTQ-friendly destination. Provincetown boasts plenty of gay bars, beaches and year-round Pride events to welcome LGBTQ travelers. One of the city’s famed events is the annual Pride Rally – accompanied by the “Sashay” to Tea dance event – that takes place in the heart of town.
Check out the Provincetown Business Guild’s website to learn more.
Portland, Oregon: July 15-16
Portland, Oregon, is rich in LGBTQ history and activism. Portland was the first major city to elect an openly gay mayor in 2008, for example, and is home to the performer who in 2016 secured the Guinness World Record for oldest working drag queen. The “Rose City” celebrates Pride year-round with varied events and programming, as well as its bustling nightlife, but the biggest Pride festivities come in June.
The parade takes place in downtown Portland and ends at the Portland Pride Waterfront Festival. The two-day festival boasts live music, food, drinks and exhibitors that range from local LGBTQ groups – including high school clubs – to international corporations.
Check out Pride Northwest’s website for more information.
San Antonio, Texas: June 24
San Antonio’s LGBTQ history has evolved over the years, from the drag performances of the 1930s to the city’s Pride march becoming a jampacked monthlong celebration of the LGBTQ community.
This year’s Pride theme is “Just Say Gay.” The festivities are set to take place on June 24. By day, enjoy live entertainment, a PRIDE wedding, a health fair and food at the Pride Bigger Than Texas Festival. At night, cool down while watching participants in Pride Bigger Than Texas Parade.
For more information, visit the Pride San Antonio website.
San Francisco, California: June 25
In the 1960s Life magazine deemed San Francisco the “gay capital” of the U.S. because of its emerging LGBTQ communities. The city’s Castro neighborhood was one of the earlier “gayborhoods” in the U.S. and was home to Harvey Milk, who in 1977 was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors as the first openly gay elected official in California history. Decades later, the city remains one of the most LGBTQ-friendly destinations.
The San Francisco Pride festivities include one of the biggest Pride parades in the country, with about 500,000 people in attendance. Expect to see LGBTQ community members and allies make their way down the parade route on June 25.
Check out San Francisco Pride’s website for more information.
Santa Fe, New Mexico: June 24
“This is where seasoned gays come to center themselves, but not in a boring way,” said the LGBTQ magazine The Advocate in 2011 when Santa Fe was deemed the second gayest city in the U.S. The UNESCO Creative City is the oldest capital in the U.S. and has one of the largest art markets in the country as well. With a friendly and welcoming atmosphere, Santa Fe remains a popular LGBTQ destination.
This year, the city celebrates the 30th anniversary of Pride as well as its parent organization, the Santa Fe Human Rights Alliance.
For more details, consult the Santa Fe Human Rights Alliance website.
Seattle: June 25
No list of Pride celebrations would be complete without Seattle, another one of the most gay-friendly cities in the country. Located east of downtown Seattle is Capitol Hill, considered the epicenter of the city’s LGBTQ scene. The neighborhood boasts a lively nightlife with numerous gay bars and nightclubs – as well as rainbow-painted crosswalks to help you celebrate Pride year-round alongside the many events in the “Emerald City.”
The celebration starts on June 3 with Seattle Pride in the Park. Enjoy family-friendly activities, food trucks and dance stages. The city’s main Pride event – the Seattle Pride Parade – is set for June 25 and considered the largest march in the state of Washington. The parade typically brings up to 300,000 participants and spectators. With its 2023 theme of “Galactic Love,” the parade will march down Fourth Avenue in the downtown area.
To learn more, consult the Seattle Pride website.
St. Petersburg, Florida: June 24
The peninsular city of St. Petersburg is surrounded by 244 miles of shoreline, along with 2,300 acres of public land dedicated to parks and recreational activities. Florida’s “Sunshine City” also hosts the biggest Pride parade in the state and one of the largest nationwide.
Check out St. Pete Pride’s website for more information.
Washington, D.C.: June 10
Washington, D.C., in many ways constitutes a living historical destination. The U.S. capital is the place where laws are made, presidents reside and museums sit at almost every turn; D.C. is also a place filled with LGBTQ history.
Founded in 1971 as the Gay Activists Alliance of Washington, D.C. – and later changing its name to the Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance – GLAA is one of the oldest continuously active LGBTQ civil rights organizations in the U.S. Another historic milestone for LGBTQ activism, the National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights, was held on D.C.’s National Mall in 1979.
What started as a one-day block party in 1975 has grown into a massive celebration at the annual Capital Pride Parade and Pride Festival, with a turnout of more than 450,000 participants in 2022. “Peace, Love, Revolution” is the theme for this year’s Capital Pride. The 1.5-mile parade will take attendees through the historic streets of Washington on June 10, honoring LGBTQ history and the evolution of queer communities. While the parade is ongoing, the Capital Pride Block Party will be having its daylong celebration.
Washington, D.C., has been chosen as the host city for WorldPride in 2025.
Check out the Capital Pride Alliance’s website for more information on this year’s Pride events.
Vancouver, BC, Canada: August 6
Resources from Travel U.S News: Top 21 Pride Parades and Celebrations in the US for 2023
*AOII is aware this is not an exhaustive list of all 2023 Pride events, and if you have an event to share, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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