It’s been 18 years since New Paltz Mayor Jason West brought the national media to the region to witness his solemnization of the vows of 25 same-sex couples, 11 years since the passage of the New York Marriage Equality Act, and seven since marriage became nationally protected by Obergefell v. Hodges. But with conservatives on the Supreme Court training their sights on Roe v. Wade with arguments that threaten the whole concept of equal protection and hundreds of anti-LGBTQ+ bills on legislative agendas across the nation, it’s clear that advocates for equality can’t afford to sit back and rest.
All the more reason for a fierce and joyous Pride Month. “As queer activists, we’re practiced and gifted at thinking beyond boxes and binaries; we’re well equipped to bring harmony and love to chaotic situations, says Osun Zotique, executive director of OutHudson. “I think the whole world could use a little of that right now.”
Our part of the world is blessed with more than a little. Paused along with most every sort of communal fun for the last couple of years, the many chapters of Hudson Valley Pride are roaring back to joyous life.
Parades and festivities are happening in municipalities up and down the river, including Beacon, Highland, Peekskill, New Paltz, Poughkeepsie, Newburgh, Callicoon, Brewster, and South Salem.
“There has been a vast improvement in the social and political climate, but we still live in a world where gender and sexual preference can be discriminated against in too many situations,” says Zotique. “We need Pride more than ever. The opposite of pride is shame, right? And shame is just a truly negative frequency and one that we need to disrupt whenever possible.”
OutHudson | June 1-5
OutHudson kicks off five full days of 13th Annual Pride celebrations on Wednesday, June 1, with three events: a dedicated can launch at a Nine Pin Cidery in Albany, family crafts at the Hudson Library, a wine-sip evening to benefit Planned Parenthood at Sprig & Social in Hudson. The Rainbow Flag will be raised at City Hall on Friday, June 3 followed by an opening for an exhibition of work by Hudson Valley queer artists at the Athens Cultural Center, and a dance party at Space 428 of the Hudson Eye. At Saturday’s parade, Zotique and Hudson Mayor Kamal Johnson will share Grand Marshal duties. Find the full list of Pride events here.
PKGO Pride | June 1-30
Poughkeepsie GO Pride is partnering with local organizations to host a series of events all month long divided by age group (youth only, adult only, and family-friendly). The youth group can enjoy a rainbow prom on June 5, a pride skate night at Hyde Park Roller Magic on June 13, and an NYC Pride watch party on June 26. Programming for adults includes a reading of a play via Zoom about gay conversion therapy titled “Ex Gay Bar” by David Simpatico; dinner and dancing with comedian Lea DeLaria on June 11. And families can try their luck together at drag bingo on June 6 or at a virtual Trivia Night on June 18., and two month long events that can be completed virtually (pet pride and rainbow run). Rainbow run is a fundraising run/walk and pet pride involves participants posting pictures of their pets celebrating pride on Instagram with the tag @dutchesspride.
Dutchess County Pride Center: Youth Pride Picnic | June 4
At Bowdoin Park in Wappingers Falls, the Dutchess County Pride Center is hosting a picnic full of fun activities for kids in the area. For all Harry Potter fans, there will be a Quidditch game held at 3pm to raise money for their Trans Mutual Aid Fund. Local businesses will be providing food and ice cream during the event. Hannafords is providing boxed lunch and Stewarts is supplying ice cream for all attendants. RSVPing is encouraged to Dutchess County Pride Center at [email protected] or 845-380-6549.
Peekskill Brewery Presents: Pride Party | June 5
Peekskill Brewery is hosting an outdoor pride party from 11am to 6pm on June 5. This event is full of activities for everyone, featuring live music from Mishti (a queer singer, songwriter and guitarist), drag performances, drag bingo, spoken word performances and giveaways. They will also host local vendors and artisans. All proceeds from the party will go to Peekskill Pride. Tickets are available on Peekskill Brewery’s website for $20 per person.
Mass MoCA: “Bright Half Life” | June 5
WAM Theatre is partnering with the Berkshire Stonewall Community to present a reading of “Bright Half Life” by Tanya Barfield at Mass MoCA as part of the museum’s Fresh Takes series. The show challenges the concept of time to tell the love story of a lesbian couple, Vicky and Erica. When the play opens, the couple have been together for four and a half decades, examining their relationship to answer the question: what if life had a rewind button? The performance will take place at 2pm and 7:30pm on June 5 at Mass MoCA. Virtual tickets are also available.
The Hudson Valley Pride Coalition: March and Festival | June 5
The nascent Hudson Valley Pride Coalition brings together the region’s various LGBTQIA+ groups with local organizations, community groups, government entities, elected officials, and individuals The coalition will host its first Pride Month march and festival in New Paltz on June 5 in New Paltz. The march will begin at 12pm, with festivities kicking off at 5pm in Hasbrouck Park. The festival will have tables from local vendors and live performances. Organizations and individuals interested in performing or selling items at the festival can apply through HV Pride Coalition's Google Form.
Angry Orchard Cider House: Rose All Gay (Drag Show) | June 11
To celebrate National Rosé Day and Pride Month, Angry Orchard Cider House is hosting their first ever drag show in Walden dubbed Rosé All Gay. Doors open at 11am, the show starts at 12pm. There will be performances by Stella Progress, Gemini Dabarbay, Philly Pina and Scarlet Sagamore. Attendants can also enjoy food from their in-house kitchen that serves many different kinds of pizza, supplemented by food trucks that will be providing cupcakes by Whipped Cupcake Trailer and brunch by Fat Boyz BBQ. Tickets start at $20 and all participants must be 21 or older.
Poughkeepsie Pride Parade & Festival | June 12
Dutchess County Pride Center and PKGO are teaming up to host a Pride parade and festival in downtown Poughkeepsie on June 12. The parade will kick off at the corner of Market and Main streets this year at 11am, ending at Waryas Park for a celebratory festival. All are invited to join the parade—especially marching bands or musicians. The waterfront festival will run from 12 to 5pm with food stalls and kid-friendly activities provided by local queer-owned businesses, with tunes all day from DJ Dolce.
TMI Project Podcast: Pride Stories | June 15 onward
On June 15, the local storytelling nonprofit TMI Project is dropping Season 4 of the “TMI Project Podcast: Pride Stories,” which offers a nuanced look into the joys, sorrows, triumphs, and transformations of very intergenerational and intersectional LGBTQIA+ storytellers. Expect to cry your eyes out and laugh your head off. Listen with a friend.
Catskill Pride Celebration | June 18
Catskill Pride is hosting an exciting event highlighting LGBTQIA+ local businesses in the Sullivan County hamlet of Callicoon. The event will run from 1pm to 6pm and will rotate between three venues—Catskill Provisions, The Western, and Catskill Brewery. Referred to as a “super social”, participants will have the opportunity to enjoy more than 20 LGBTQIA+ businesses in the area, local food and beverages and entertainment hosted by Kay Gorgeous and DJ Tikka Masala. For attendants looking for somewhere to stay that weekend, Seminary Hill, a popular sustainable orchard and cidery with a bordering house nearby is offering a 10% discount on rooms in their boarding house for the weekend of this event (using code: CATSKILLPRIDE2022).
Hudson Valley Renegades: Pride Game | June 30
At 7:05pm, the Hudson Valley Renegades, a Fishkill-based Minor League baseball team, will face off against the Brooklyn Cyclones in a home game to raise funds for the Dutchess County Pride Center. Tickets can be purchased through this website using the code “PRIDE.”