June is Pride Month everywhere, every year, and always a big deal in the Hudson Valley, where New Paltz mayor Jason West’s illegal gay weddings in 2004 helped spark the legalization of same-sex marriage all over America soon thereafter. With this year marking the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in New York City, Pride Month will be an especially big deal.
The keystone event happens this Sunday, June 2 in New Paltz, where the Hudson Valley Pride March & Festival has been held every year since 2005. The march sets out at 1 p.m. from the Middle School and heads down Main Street (Route 299) toward Hasbrouck Park, where festivities including live music will go on until 5 p.m. Drag legend Miss Coco Peru (seen on NBC’s Will & Grace) will perform The Taming of the Tension at the Studley Theatre, in the Old Main Building on the SUNY-New Paltz campus, at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday evening, June 1.
Out of the original 2005 Pride March & Festival sprang the Hudson Valley LGBTQ Community Center, now a cultural anchor of Wall Street in Kingston. The Center is sponsoring dozens of events all through Pride Month, of course. These begin with a Pride Dance Party & Drag Show this Friday, May 31 at the Beverly Lounge and continue on Saturday with a freshening-up of the Center’s rainbow crosswalks called Repaint the Town Proud. June 1 also sees an art opening of “The Out List” at the Center, plus a general Pride Month Opening Reception & Volunteer Recognition Event. Later in the month there will be a Pride Picnic, Geek Pride Game Night, Queer Soup Night & GENDA Know Your Rights, Youth Pride Dance Party, Moises Kauffman’s play Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde, SAGE Table Intergenerational Meal and a film screening at the Kingston Library. Visit http://lgbtqcenter.org/pride for the full schedule.
Dutchess County is hosting its fair share of Pride Month activities as well. Poughkeepsie Pride Weekend spans June 7 to 9, kicked off on Friday evening with a Pride Celebration from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Underwear Factory. Saturday begins with a 9 a.m. Rainbow Sidewalk Painting at the corner of Main and Bridge Streets and continues with a Pride Parade beginning at Market Street at 1 p.m., leading to a Pride Festival and Picnic at Waryas Park that goes on until 5 p.m., plus two performances by the Poughkeepsie City Ballet and the New York Academy of Ballet of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz at the Bardavon, beginning at 2 and 6:30 p.m. For more details visit www.dutchesspridecenter.org/poughkeepsie-pride-weekend.html.
The City of Hudson presents its tenth annual OutHudson Pride Festival from June 12 to 16, with a 2019 theme of “Faerie Tales.” There will be an author reading at 7 p.m. on Wednesday at Spotty Dog Books & Ale and a screening of The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson (one of the original Stonewall activists) at 8 p.m. on Thursday at House Rules. Friday brings a Boat Cruise with DJ Prephab setting out from the waterfront at 7 p.m., a Pride Kickoff Party at 9 p.m. at the Back Bar and Trixie’s Whorehouse + Queeraoke at 11 p.m. at the Half Moon. The big parade down Warren Street begins at 2 p.m. on Saturday, followed by family-friendly street fair activities at Promenade Hill Park and Wm. Farmer and Sons plus Poke the Bear at the OR Gallery & Tavern in the afternoon. The Miss Sherry Vine Cabaret Show begins at 7 p.m. at Club Helsinki and Faeries, Freaks and Fantasies at Basilica Hudson beginning at 8 p.m. A Tea Dance at 4 p.m. on Sunday at Red Dot rounds out the weekend. See www.outhudson.com for details.
In Tivoli, Oblong Books & Music celebrates Pride Month Upstairs at Murray’s on Wednesday, June 19 at 6 p.m. with a talk by Naomi Wolf, author of The End of America and The Beauty Myth, about her newest book, Outrages: Sex, Censorship and the Criminalization of Love. It sheds light on a dramatic buried story of gay history: how a single English law in 1857 led to a maelstrom, with reverberations lasting down to our day. Reserve your tickets at www.oblongbooks.com.
For the full story of Pride Month goings-on in your community and beyond, check out www.biggayhudsonvalley.com/events/pride-along-the-hudson-2019-local-pride-festivals-in-the-hudson-valley.