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LIFESTYLE & CULTURE

What are the most LGBTQ-friendly colleges in the US?

LGBTQ-friendly colleges are critical for the safety and well-being of gay, lesbian, trans, and nonconforming young people, providing a safe space for queer young people, while helping prepare them for a workforce that is still frequently hostile.

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Considering going to school in the US of A?

Colleges and universities have long been the place where young people find themselves and their people, developing into the people they will be through the rest of their life. That has, historically, been particularly true of LGBTQ youth, who could go from unsupportive homes and communities to find a place where they are accepted for who they are.

Today, while society in general is more tolerant than in the past, college can still be a crucial place of safety and growth for LGBTQ young people. This is why College Consensus published its ranking of 25 LGBTQ-friendly colleges in the US.

“By highlighting institutions that make inclusiveness an intentional aspect of their education and community, (we) encourage students to find the place they will feel welcome, and urges schools to consider their own policies and culture,” the group said in a statement.

Institutions in the ranking were chosen based on the strength of their student organizations, institutional inclusiveness policies, and recognition by the Campus Pride Index.

While society in general is more tolerant than in the past, college can still be a crucial place of safety and growth for LGBTQ young people.
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The top 25 (in alphabetical order) are:

  • Augsburg University
  • Elon University
  • Harvey Mudd College
  • Indiana University Bloomington
  • Ithaca College
  • Kansas State University
  • Lehigh University
  • Macalester College
  • Montclair State University
  • Pennsylvania State University
  • Portland State University (tied)
  • Princeton University
  • Rutgers University
  • San Diego State University
  • Southern Oregon University (tied)
  • The Ohio State University
  • Tufts University
  • University of Colorado at Boulder
  • University of Louisville
  • University of Maryland, College Park
  • University of Massachusetts
  • University of Oregon
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • University of Washington
  • University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire
  • Washington State University
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“For decades, colleges and universities have been at the vanguard of culture, whether that meant protecting artistic expression or giving young people a forum to voice their political views.” However, for LGBTQ students, inclusive policies “can truly be a matter of life or death,” particularly as discrimination and hate crimes are still prevalent in many communities.

“LGBTQ-friendly colleges are critical for the safety and well-being of gay, lesbian, trans, and nonconforming young people,” the editors explained, providing “a safe space for queer young people, while helping prepare them for a workforce that is still frequently hostile.”

While ranking the most LGBTQ Friendly Colleges is somewhat subjective, College Consensus chose their criteria carefully: “a vocal and well-promoted campus pride organization is a clear sign” of acceptance, at least in the campus community, since many are student-led groups. The other level of impact is in official institutional policy: “inclusive language in their student handbook; gender inclusive housing (or gender neutral housing); explicit non-discrimination policies (for instance, women’s colleges that are openly welcoming to trans women).”

Travel

What are the friendliest countries for LGBT travelers?

Thanks to legal improvements for trans- and intersex persons, as well as anti-hate crime initiatives, this is the first time that Portugal joined the top countries, managing to jump from 27th place to the top to share the first place with Sweden and Canada.

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Portugal, Sweden and Canada are the most LGBT-friendly travel countries in the world, according to the SPARTACUS Gay Travel Index 2019.

Thanks to legal improvements for trans- and intersex persons, as well as anti-hate crime initiatives, this is the first time that Portugal joined the top countries, managing to jump from 27th place to the top to share the first place with Sweden and Canada.

Portugal joined the top countries, managing to jump from 27th place to the top to share the first place with Sweden and Canada.
Photo by roya ann miller from Unsplash.com

The top 10 countries in the list (sharing same rankings) are:

1) Canada
1) Portugal
1) Sweden
4) Austria
4) Belgium
4) Denmark
4) Finland
4) Iceland
4) Luxembourg
4) Malta

The SPARTACUS Gay Travel Index is updated annually to inform travelers about the situation of LGBT people in 197 countries and regions.

Canada continues to rank as an LGBT-friendly travel country.
Photo by mwangi gatheca from Unsplash.com

One of this year’s rising stars is India. This is largely thanks to the decriminalization of homosexuality and an improved social climate; the country rose from 104th to 57th place.

In 2018 the criminalization of homosexual acts was abolished in Trinidad and Tobago and Angola as well.

With the legal recognition of same-sex marriage, Austria and Malta were also able to secure a place at the top of the SPARTACUS Gay Travel Index 2019.

However, the situation for LGBT travelers in Brazil, Germany and the US has worsened. According to SPARTACUS Gay Travel Index 2019, in both Brazil and the US, the right-wing conservative governments introduced initiatives to revoke LGBT rights achieved in the past. These actions led to an increase in homophobic and transphobic violence. There has also been an increase in violence against LGBT people in Germany, and inadequate modern legislation to protect transgender and intersex persons, as well as the lack of any action plan against homophobic violence caused Germany to drop from 3rd to 23rd place.

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Countries such as Thailand, Taiwan, Japan and Switzerland are under special observation because situations in these countries are expected to improve in 2019 as a result of the discussions on the introduction of legislation to legalize same-sex marriage. Thailand already moved up 20 places to rank 47 thanks to a campaign against homophobia and the introduction of laws to recognize same-sex civil partnerships. The country already announced introduction of same-sex marriage laws could make it one of the most LGBT-friendly travel destinations in Asia.

In Latin America, the decision by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR/CIDH) to require nearly all Latin American countries to recognize same-sex marriage may have made news, but to date, same-sex marriage is legal only in Argentina, Colombia, Brazil, Uruguay and in some individual states of Mexico.

Some of the most dangerous countries for LGBT travelers in 2019 include Saudi Arabia, Iran, Somalia and the Chechen Republic in Russia.

Thanks to the decriminalization of homosexuality and an improved social climate, India rose from 104th to 57th place.
Photo by Tiago Rosado from Unsplash.com

The SPARTACUS Gay Travel Index is assembled using 14 criteria in three categories: civil rights (e.g. marriage equality); reported LGBT discrimination (e.g. travel restrictions for HIV positive people and the ban on Pride parades or other demonstrations); and threats to individuals by persecution, prison sentences or capital punishment. Evaluated sources include Human Rights Watch, UN ‘s “Free & Equal” campaign, and year-round information on human rights violations against members of the LGBT community.

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LIFESTYLE & CULTURE

Is going to the gym necessary?

Is it really necessary to the gym or can we get that killer body without the gym?

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Many people long to have a killer body. To attain this, they opt to go to the gym. This they do no matter what; and even if it means that they have to cut other important parts of their life, they will still make sure that they go to the gym.

However, is it really necessary to the gym or can we get that killer body without the gym?

THE KILLER BODY

There is more than one way to get to get the killer body. This is despite the popular belief that the one and only way to achieve this is to head to the gym, and nowhere else. But with so many advancements in technology, there has to be more one to skin the cat. We mean, we now have to play online slots games and don’t have to go to the land-based venues. And if they can to it for online casinos, then we are sure they can do it for those wanting to get a killer body, too.

WAY TO GET IN SHAPE WITHOUT THE GYM

Walk the walk

Like, literally, walking helps you get in shape more than you will notice. Walking is the treadmill without the electricity and the speed; therefore, instead if going to the gym to use the treadmill, just take a walk when you can; rather walk than always trying to win cash prizes at newzealand casinos online or do other physical activities.

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The Stairs

Using the stairs is also another way to get in shape without going to the gym. This is because taking the stairs is like doing some squats. And particularly for the ladies, we all know why we need those squats every now and again.

Eat Healthy

So you will walk and even jog every now and again, and – to add to that – make sure to use the stairs every day at work. Well done, you are almost there. But note that what’s more important is the food that you eat. You see all of your efforts will be in vain if you don’t eat healthy.

Please note we did not say that you should starve; instead, make sure that you eat properly. And as you do, make sure to drink at least eight glasses of water daily.

Remember that good things take time, therefore don’t rush the results.

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NEWSMAKERS

Lesbian porn 151% more popularly watched by women when compared to men

Lesbian porn is by far the most popular category of videos viewed by women, according to Pornhub, adding that lesbian porn is in fact it’s 151% more popular with women when compared to men. Filipino women appear to be… more romantic, with more women watching Romantic (233%) and Verified Couples (160%).

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Lesbian porn is by far the most popular category of videos viewed by women, according to popular porn site Pornhub, which looked into the viewing habits of women to also reveal that lesbian porn is in fact it’s 151% more popular with women when compared to men.

Pornhub looked at the top 20 countries of their site, accounting for 71% of all their women viewers. The site found that women from different parts of the world have different preferences, with categories for their number one choice including: Hentai, Ebony, Anal, Indian, Japanese, Mature and MILF.

Filipino women appear to be… more romantic, with women watching Romantic (233%) and Verified Couples (160%).

In the US, women are 102% more likely to view Ebony videos and 69% more into Interracial. Women in the UK are 474% more likely to view the British category, but they’re also 31% more into Rough Sex. Women in Canada are 36% more into Threesomes, French women are 103% more into Cuckold videos, and Germany women are 165% more into Feet.

Pornhub also analyzed the differences in porn categories between women of different ages. These were their findings:

18 to 24: Hentai (+81%)
25 to 34: Tattooed Women (+32%)
35 to 44: Double Penetration (+29%)
45 to 54: Mature (+39%)
55 to 64: Vintage (+78%)
65+: Handjob (+143%)

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Health & Wellness

Bias may affect providers’ knowledge of trans health

According to a study, increased hours of education related to caring for transgender patients may not correlate to more competent care.

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As it is, transgender people already face many barriers in accessing health care, from dealing with issues with intake forms that use non-inclusive language, to challenges finding providers who are knowledgeable about transgender-specific health issues.

But a Michigan Medicine-led study is suggesting that more training may not be the answer to improving competent care, since this study found that more hours of education in the field was not associated with improved knowledge of transgender care among physicians and other providers.

Published in the journal Medical Education, the study found that nearly half of providers said they had cared for a transgender patient, but as many had received no training on the topic. What distinguished knowledgeable providers from those who were less so, however, appeared to have little to do with their medical education.

Transphobia, or a prejudice against people who are transgender, was the only predictor of provider knowledge.

“We were surprised to find that more hours of education about transgender health didn’t correlate with a higher level of knowledge about this topic among providers,” said lead author Daphna Stroumsa, M.D., MPH, an obstetrician gynecologist at University of Michigan’s Von Voigtlander Woman’s Hospital and a National Clinician Scholar at the U-M Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation.

“Transgender and gender diverse individuals often face discrimination in health care settings and many are unable to find competent, knowledgeable and culturally-appropriate health care,” Stroumsa added. “Lack of provider knowledge is a significant barrier, but our findings suggest that simply increasing training may not be the solution.

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Because of this, “medical education may need to address transphobia and implicit bias in order to improve the quality of care transgender patients receive,” Stroumsa said.

Researchers surveyed 389 attending physicians, advanced practitioners and residents from the departments of internal medicine, family medicine and obstetrics and gynecology in a large urban health system.

It is worth noting that the study did not evaluate the content or format of the education providers were exposed to; but it is still likely that educational efforts that address unconscious bias would be more effective. Stroumsa noted that even in educational programs that address transgender health, the topic is usually presented as a separate section of provider education, rather than as an integral part of general medical education and training – a distinction which may further fuel “othering” of transgender patients.

Many providers – especially those traditionally considered “women’s health” professionals – likely need to be better prepared to care for transgender patients, Stroumsa said.

People who identify as transgender and non-binary may require many of the services provided by Ob/Gyns and other “women’s healthcare” providers, including prenatal and fertility care, cervical cancer screening, menstrual cycle management, as well as gender transition-related care (i.e. hormone therapy), and other routine Ob-Gyn care.

“We obviously have a lot of work to do in improving health outcomes for gender diverse people,” Stroumsa said. “We need to take a close look at our healthcare environments, practices and approaches to medical education. These are just beginning steps in reducing wide health disparities. Creating a safe, knowledgeable, trustworthy care environment will help us expand the care we provide to a broader more diverse patient population.”

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NEWSMAKERS

Over 50% think falling in love online is possible; over 23% believe it’s achievable

56.5% of Grindr users believe they can find love on the dating app. And 25-34-year-olds are the most optimistic about falling in love online, with shared interests the most likely reason to finding love.

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Changing demographics?

What does falling in love mean in 2019? For many, it apparently means heading to an app and hoping to find true love with a swipe or a click; and this is even if there are concerns that online dating may not lead to true love and everyone is in danger of losing it.

Comparethemarket.com surveyed over 2,000 adults to see if love really is on the line or if online dating is simply the newest way to find true love.

The survey found 25-34-year-olds to be the most optimistic about falling in love online, with 34% responding “Yes, definitely” to the question “Do you think it’s possible to fall in love through an online dating site/app?”.

Comparatively, only 30% of 16-24-year-olds, 26% of 35-44-year-olds, 18% of 45-54-year-olds and 15% of the over 55 agreed with the statement.

People who use dating apps tied to shared interests, such as music, are the most likely to believe you can definitely fall in love online, with 69% answering the same question with “Yes, definitely”. The next most optimistic app users were: dating services based on religion (65%), Meetic (68%), SpeedDate.com (64%), OkCupid (59%) and Grindr (56.5%).

With dating apps having more and more game-like features, Comparethemarket.com wanted to find out people’s opinions on how this affects the way they approach dating through apps. The survey discovered that only 7% of people say they often treat dating apps like a game and use strategies to ‘win’.

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The question of who treats dating apps like more of a game out of men and women gets slightly different responses depending if you ask men or women! However, they both agree that men are more likely to treat dating apps like a game, with 25% of women and 14% of men agreeing with this statement. Only 8% of men and 6% of women believe women are the most likely to treat online dating as a game.

The most common bad experience with online dating is a boring first date, with 31% of people claiming to have experienced this. 21% of people have had to run away as the date was so bad,  17% felt that their date clearly fancied someone else.
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It isn’t all roses, however, as there are also bad experiences from online dating. Almost three in five (59%) people say they’ve had a bad experience of online dating, this could be either while talking to someone on the app/website itself or when meeting them in real life. This breaks down as 56% of men and 61% of women.

Per app, the bad experiences are also different.

People who said they used Meetic (95%) most claimed to have had bad experiences either talking with, or meeting, people from the app, followed by Ashley Madison (91%), dating services based on religion (89%), SpeedDate.com (87%) and dating services based on interest (86%).

Meanwhile, 59% of people who said they used Tinder most claimed to have had bad experiences either talking with, or meeting, people from the app, the fewest out of the sites studied, followed by Match.com (62%), PlentyOfFish (64%), and Bumble (68%)

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The most common bad experience with online dating is a boring first date, with 31% of people claiming to have experienced this. 21% of people have had to run away as the date was so bad,  17% felt that their date clearly fancied someone else. For 17% of respondents, the date ended when the person didn’t turn up or left early, and for 13% it was the classic ‘I spilled wine on my date’.

Men are more likely to be stood up than women for a date made through online platforms with 20% claiming their date didn’t turn up or left early, compared to women’s 14%. Men are also a lot more likely to cause a short date with 17% admitting to spilling wine on their date compared to 10% of women.

From bad pick up lines to fake profiles, this is what people consider to be the worst thing about online and app-based dating.

And with apps now generally accepted as sources of lifelong relationships, more are emerging to respond to niche markets. These include: Hater (which has over 1,000,000 users) that – instead of matching with someone because of shared interests – app that matches people based on shared pet hates; Trek Dating (over 500,000 users), a dedicated app for Trekkies who are looking for love; Tastebuds (over 500,000 users) that matches people based on shared music tastes; Muddy Matches (over 200,000 users), which is for the country boy or girl at heart and don’t want to waste time with city folk; and Farmers only (over 150,000 users) for farmers finding love.

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LIFESTYLE & CULTURE

It’s the ‘Year of Pride’ in New York City

The Big Apple is slated to host WorldPride 2019, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising in June, a pivotal moment in LGBTQIA history.

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2019 has been declared in New York City as the “Year of Pride”, just as the Big Apple is slated to host WorldPride 2019, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising in June, a pivotal moment in LGBTQIA history.

WorldPride will take place in NYC the first time the global event will be held in the US — from June 25–30, with an anticipated four million visitors.

On June 28, 1969, riots broke out in response to a police raid at the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, which is now the country’s first national monument dedicated to LGBTQIA rights. This June and throughout 2019, NYC celebrates Pride.

If in NYC, here are some of the exhibitions, activities and events throughout the year to embody the city’s spirit:

ARTS & CULTURE:

Andy Warhol—From A to B and Back Againthrough March 31
The Whitney Museum of American Art
Last chance to see the first comprehensive retrospective of Warhol’s work organized by an American institution since 1989, and the largest monographic exhibition to date at the Whitney’s new location.

Love & Resistance: Stonewall 50 –through July 14
New York Public Library, Bryant Park, Manhattan
Explore the emergence of the LGBTQ civil rights movement during the 1960s and ’70s through photographs from pioneering journalists Tobin Lahusen and Diana Davies, that sit alongside the library’s vast archives from LGBTQ history.

Implicit Tensions: Mapplethorpe Nowthrough January 5, 2020
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
This multiphase retrospective features Robert Mapplethorpe’s collages and photographs, as well as the work of contemporary artists who reference the artist.

On the (Queer) WaterfrontMarch 5 through August 4
Brooklyn Historical Society, Brooklyn
Learn about the largely forgotten LGBTQ communities that thrived along Brooklyn’s waterfront in the 1800s and through WWII, highlighting both the changes and continuities in the ideas and experiences of sexuality in Brooklyn.

Lincoln Kirstein’s ModernMarch 17 through June 15
Museum of Modern Art & PS1, Manhattan & Queens
Best known for establishing the New York City Ballet, Kirstein was also a key figure in MoMA’s early history. Bringing together some 300 rare artworks alongside materials drawn from the museum’s archives, the exhibition illuminates Kirstein’s influence on MoMA’s collecting, exhibition and publication history, and his position at the center of a New York network of queer artists, intimates and collaborators.

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Art After Stonewall, 1969–1989
NYU’s Grey Art Gallery, Manhattan – April 24 through July 20 
Leslie-Lohman Museum, Manhattan – April 24 through July 21
Presented in two parts, this will be the first major exhibition to highlight the impact of the LGBTQ civil rights movement on the art world. Over 150 works of art and materials from artists including Nan Goldin, Holly Hughes, Robert Mapplethorpe, Tim Miller, Catherine Opie and Andy Warhol will be on view, paired with that of artists who interacted with queer subculture.

Nobody Promised You Tomorrow: Art 50 Years After Stonewall – May 3 through December 8
Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn
Borrowing its title from the rallying words of transgender artist and activist Marsha P. Johnson, Nobody Promised You Tomorrow aims to expand understanding of the Stonewall Uprising beyond the image of protesters in the streets to consider the everyday acts that reinforce such public activism.

Camp: Notes on FashionMay 9 through September 8
The Met Fifth Avenue, Manhattan
The Costume Institute’s spring 2019 exhibition will explore the origins of the camp aesthetic featuring nearly 200 objects, including womenswear and menswear, as well as sculptures, paintings and drawings dating from the 17th century to the present. The exhibition is inspired by writer Susan Sontag’s 1964 essay “Notes on Camp.”

Stonewall 50 ExhibitionsMay 24 through September 22
New-York Historical Society, Manhattan
Letting Loose and Fighting Back: LGBTQ Nightlife Before and After Stonewall will explore the history of LGBTQ bars, clubs and nightlife in NYC during the second half of the 20th century. By the Force of Our Presence: Highlights from the Lesbian Herstory Archives will examine lesbian lives both pre- and post-Stonewall. Special graphic installation, Say It Loud, Out and Proud: Fifty Years of Pride, will feature imagery from five decades of NYC Pride marches.

Music of Conscience SeriesMay 30 and June 1
New York Philharmonic, Manhattan
Experience John Corigliano’s Symphony No. 1, the New York composer’s “personal response to the AIDS crisis,” inspired by the AIDS Memorial Quilt. The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center created its own Quilt Project, and a portion of that quilt—inscribed by visitors to Central Park in June 1988—will be on display in the lobby of David Geffen Hall.

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PRIDE –June 6 through November
Museum of the City of New York, Manhattan
Examine NYC through the lens of photographer Fred W. McDarrah, who created an encyclopedic archive of culture and politics for The Village Voice; from the Beats of the 1950s to the counterculture of the ’60s to the Stonewall Uprising and major political events of the early 1970s. The exhibition features images of cultural icons such as Allen Ginsberg and Bob Dylan, with attention to gay liberation, anti–Vietnam War marches and the women’s movement.

Walt Whitman: Bard of DemocracyJune 7 through September 15
The Morgan Library & Museum
Experience Whitman’s writing that earned him a global audience, including “O Captain! My Captain!” Additionally, view documents from Oscar Wilde, Hart Crane, Federico García Lorca and Allen Ginsberg, which trace the writer’s influence on the 20th century.

Pride AuctionJune 20
Swann Auction Galleries
A unique and landmark event, featuring work from artists and writers including James Baldwin, Tom of Finland, Gertrude Stein, Alice Walker, Robert Mapplethorpe and more.

NYC LGBT Historic Sites ProjectYear-round
Citywide
The recently launched project is the first initiative to document historic and cultural sites associated with the LGBTQ community in all five boroughs. Sites illustrate the richness of the City’s LGBTQ history and the community’s influence on America.

Alice Austen House Museum Year-round
Staten Island
Take the free Staten Island ferry to visit the Alice Austen House, named by the National Register of Historic Places as the “national site of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) history.” Austen was a turn-of-the-century lesbian photographer who lived with her female companion for many years in her home that boasts views of the Manhattan skyline.

Lesbian Herstory ArchivesYear-round
Brooklyn
View the largest collection of materials by and about lesbians and their communities. Part library, part museum, the LHA is a communal place to browse photographs or files, read a book, watch a video, listen to a CD or LP, do research or volunteer. Group tours can also be arranged.

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50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising Year-round
The Jewish Museum, Manhattan
The museum will pay tribute through a year of programming, while highlighting LGBTQ works of art from the museum’s collection that explore themes of gender and identity.

WorldPride will take place in NYC — the first time the global event will be held in the US — from June 25–30, with an anticipated four million visitors.
Photo by Patrick Hendry from Unsplash.com

BOROUGH PARADES:

Staten Island PrideFestMay 10–19
PrideFest will celebrate 15 years with a full week of events in May, including a 5K fun run, a Sober Coffee House and a Youth Prom. The week ends with an afternoon festival at Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden featuring live music, drag performers, food trucks and craft vendors.

Harlem PrideMay 31 through June 29
The 10th anniversary of Harlem Pride in 2019 is also the 100th anniversary of the Harlem Renaissance. The month-long celebrations will consist of performances, discussions and ceremonies at iconic locations including the Apollo Theater.

Queens Pride – June 2
Pride month kicks off in the heart of Queens with this annual parade down 37th Avenue in Jackson Heights, followed by an afternoon street festival in the neighborhood that features music, drag performances and local cuisine. 

Brooklyn Twilight Pride ParadeJune 8
Brooklyn puts its own twist on Pride with a nontraditional march starting at dusk through the streets of Park Slope. A Pride street fair will take place with food, crafts and entertainment before the march.

1 Bronx FestivalJune 23
The march will take place preceding the annual 1 Bronx Festival that promotes inclusion, community and dialogue. Pride events throughout the festival inspire, educate and celebrate the diverse Bronx community.

Furthermore, visit New York City’s historic LGBTQ landmarks, including: Bethesda Fountain; Christopher Park; Julius; The Langston Hughes House; The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center; The Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art; New York City AIDS Memorial; Stonewall Inn.

For more information on NYC’s Year of Pride celebrations, visit
nycgo.com/year-of-pride
. For information on WorldPride–specific events, visit nycgo.com/worldpride. And for all things LGBTQIA in NYC, visit nycgo.com/lgbtq.

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