50 Things to do in New York During Stonewall 50 and WorldPride 2019

by Kelsy Chauvin

The City and State of New York are showing full support with an extraordinary lineup for Stonewall 50 and WorldPride 2019, together serving as this year’s NYC Pride extravaganza.

Kelsy Chauvin


Billed as two events (one day, one night) on June 30, Alegria will lead off its WorldPride blowout with its new outdoor spectacular, WOW. Next up is the ALEGRIA CIRCUS for all-night dancing across Bushwick’s massive Brooklyn Mirage open-air event venue. Brooklyn Mirage|Avant Gardner, 140 Stewart Ave., Brooklyn. For specific times, visit 2019-worldpride-stonewall50.nycpride.org/events/alegria-worldpride-2019

This Lower East Side mainstay still operates as a bookstore and café, and serves as an endangered space where the LGBTQIA+ community can safely gather. Bluestockings’s busy events calendar includes everything from comedy and yoga, to area walking tours, to self-defense workshops and niche-interest book talks. 172 Allen St., bluestockings.com

Governor Cuomo Celebrates Pride photo by Lev Radin

Governor Cuomo Celebrates Pride photo by Lev Radin

The unforgettable evening of Broadway burlesque returns to Hammerstein Ballroom for Pride month, with more than 150 talented, sexy performers baring it all (or at least most) in scantily clad musical-theater numbers. The wildly successful pair of shows sell out fast, fundraising millions of dollars for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. Hammerstein Ballroom, 311 W. 34th St. June 16 at 9:30 P.M. & 12 A.M. broadwaycares.org/pre-event/broadway-bares-2019

It’s New York, it’s Pride season, it’s time for live musical entertainment! Fab Broadway productions abound, but one needn’t look farther than The Cher Show for a proper dose of diva worship. The production bowed in December 2018 and has been going strong ever since, telling Cher’s story of life, love, songs, and, of course, her unforgettable fashion. (Remember to book your tickets well in advance.) Neil Simon Theatre, 250 W. 52nd St. thechershowbroadway.com

Conveniently located among some of the city’s legendary gay bars, this sweet little triangle is a place of rest and reflection, enclosed by shady trees and lined with park benches. It’s also home to George Segal’s iconic Gay Liberation sculptures of two same-sex couples. Created in 1980, they represent some of the world’s first (and remain the city’s only) public art dedicated to LGBTQ rights. Christopher St. at W. 4th St.

Empire State Building for Gay Pride photo by David Melian

Empire State Building for Gay Pride photo by David Melian

Beautiful Sullivan Catskills in upstate New York is home to the Forestburgh Playhouse, aka “Broadway in the Catskills.” Celebrate Pride with pre- and post-show cabarets featuring Just Judy: The Songs of Judy Garland and Divas: A celebration of iconic Divas and Pride at the Playhouse! If you plan on being in New York later this summer make sure to book tickets to see their production of Priscilla Queen of the Desert (July 30 through August 11. 39 Forestburgh Rd., Forestburgh, NY. fbplayhouse.org

The world’s largest collection of materials by and about lesbians fills an historic townhome in Park Slope (once better known as “Dyke Slope”). The archives span an astounding array of books, audio and visual recordings, music, interviews, correspondence, and more. Visitors are welcome during designated open hours or by appointment. 484 14th St., Brooklyn. lesbianherstoryarchives.org

Back in 1969, Charles Leslie and Fritz Lohman began preserving artwork that speaks about the LGBTQ experience. Their endeavor coincided with a global movement for equality, and today their namesake museum is a leading art gallery and community archive. For Pride season, the museum’s expansive SoHo space will show “Art After Stonewall,” the first major exhibition to examine the impact of the LGBTQ civil-rights movement on the art world (April 24-July 1). 26 Wooster St., leslielohman.org

Dykes on Bikes photo By Kobby Dagan

Dykes on Bikes photo by Kobby Dagan

Since 2015, this educational resource has helped memorialize key NYC sites that represent LGBT history beyond Stonewall. The project exists as an interactive online map with detailed entries about the five boroughs’ queer points of interest, which aims to “make an invisible history visible.” nyclgbtsites.org

Professor and historian Andrew Lear leads an assortment of tours in NYC under the guise Oscar Wilde Tours. You can request a private or customized tour, or pick up fascinating insights by joining his “Shady Ladies” (shadyladiestours.com) or Gay Secrets of the Metropolitan Museum tours. oscarwildetours.com

In collaboration with NewFest. and hosted by the SVA Theatre, cinephiles will love this three-day film festival featuring specially curated movies representing queer experiences. Advance tickets are recommended for screenings, some of which will be followed by filmmaker Q&As and open-bar after parties. SVA Theatre, 333 W. 23rd St. June 17-19. For specific times, visit 2019-worldpride-stonewall50.nycpride.org/events/outcinema

He’s one of America’s most acclaimed and controversial artists, and the Guggenheim will honor him during this special NYC anniversary with its Implicit Tensions show (January 25-July 10). Guests will view highlights from the museum’s prized Mapplethorpe holdings, from his classically styles portraits to his explicit S&M depictions. This will be part one of two, with the Implicit Tensions part two planned for July 24-January 5, 2020. Guggenheim Museum, 1071 Fifth Ave. www.guggenheim.org

Head to this Chelsea gallery June 17-30 to peek at Ross Watson’s Hominus Uniformis show. Watson, a gay artist from Australia, will exhibit his realist paintings of uniformed and nude men. His work is renowned for its highly detailed male forms, and this show will be a rare NYC exhibit with the artist in residence for the duration. Rogue Space, 508 W. 26th St., 9th Fl. 2019-worldpride-stonewall50.nycpride.org/events/ross-watson-hominus-uniformis/

Mayor of NY Celebrates Pride photo by Lev Radin

Mayor of NY Celebrates Pride photo by Lev Radin

A series of free upstate–New York outdoor concerts will ring out as part of “Sing Out, New York” national music festival, led by the Albany Symphony. The festival will honor social-justice movements related to LGBTQIA+ equality and women’s suffrage, which grew roots in Seneca Falls, NY,with new music inspired by American revolutions of the last century. May 28-June 9. albanysymphony.com/singoutny

America’s first (and so far, only) national monument commemorating LGBTQ history is one of NYC’s greatest points of pride. The Stonewall National Monument’s 7.7 acres encompass the areas where the uprising took place 50 years ago, stretching from Greenwich Avenue to W. 4th Street, and W. 10th Street to Waverly Place. During WorldPride, it’ll be impossible not to end up at this queer crossroads to enjoy all the fabulous Village events. www.nps.gov/places/stonewall-national-monument.htm

New York City Opera’s first-ever commissioned work is Stonewall, based on the 1969 rebellion, which debuts during Pride month and the company’s 75th anniversary season. Written by Ian Bell and librettist Mark Campbell, the opera continues New York City Opera’s “Pride Initiative” of producing an LGBT-focused work each June in commemoration of Pride Month. This is one culture buffs won’t want to miss! June 19. www.stonewallopera.com
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