Every June, communities across the world recognize Pride Month—a time when we celebrate the LGBTQ community with festivals, parades, art shows, and other events that allow us to reflect on this important global movement. This year’s Pride Month is especially notable because we’re honoring the 50th anniversary of the event that started it all: The Stonewall Riots. These demonstrations by members of the gay community against the police raids of a gay bar in Greenwich Village in 1969 helped kickstart the modern LGBTQ rights movement in the U.S. and around the world. Countless cities across the country will come together to put their own spin on Pride this June, but if you want to go off the beaten path a bit, here are six unique Pride celebrations happening this year.
1. A Cosplayer’s Pride
When: June 22
Where: New York, NY
Just because it’s Pride doesn’t mean you can’t embrace your geekiness a bit, too. At this Pride inspired cosplay event, people are encouraged to dress up as their favorite fictional character and proudly flaunt the freedom and diversity that this celebration is all about. This colorful bash is put on in conjunction with a nonprofit that advocates for the LGBTQIA+ geek community, and includes music, dancing, and a cruise around the city.
2. A Cowboy’s Pride
When: June 30
Where: Santa Fe, New Mexico
This June, during the state’s Pride celebrations, this regional rodeo will determine which participants will go to the world finals in Scottsdale later in the year. Some of the different competitions include team roping, steer decorating, and goat dressing. The mission is to break stereotypes and allow LGBTQ athletes to embrace Western traditions, like rodeo, within the comfort of their community.
3. A History Lover’s Pride
When: Saturdays in June
Where: New York, New York
To really understand New York City’s place in the LGBTQ movement, you have to dig even deeper than Stonewall. On this walking tour, you’ll stroll past important locations in New York’s gay history, including the birthplace of activists, major moments in gay theater, and the first example of public art that dealt with gay rights.
4. An Activist’s Pride
When: Until December 31
Where: Washington, D.C.
The parades and the parties are all part of what makes Pride Month such an event, but don’t pass up on the chance to learn a little something along the way. From now until the end of 2019, Washington, D.C. is showcasing an exhibit which chronicles the country’s gay rights movement, from the Stonewall Inn riots in 1969 through the ‘80s AIDS crisis and into today’s issues. You’ve got plenty of time to check out this worthwhile exhibit but taking it all in during Pride will give you a better perspective on what all these celebrations are really about.
5. A Comedian’s Pride
When: Tuesdays and Wednesdays in June
Where: Chicago, Illinois
Chicago is known for world-famous sketch comedy, and this June the city’s foremost comedy institution will be embracing Pride with a special series of shows, featuring a cast made up exclusively of LGBTQIA+ performers. The variety show promises music, comedy, and plenty of drag, with part of the proceeds from merchandise sales going to support the local LGBTQ community center.
6. A Performer’s Pride
When: June 21-22
Where: San Francisco, California
To honor the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots and the beginning of the modern LGBT movement, San Francisco will hold a special series of chorus concerts. The series will feature songs from across the spectrum of pop, including mellow indie jams to faster-paced dance tracks all holding relevance to the history of LGBT rights.