Travel

14 Ways to Celebrate Pride Month in Dallas-Fort Worth

From the Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade, to the return of the festivals in Fair Park, we've got you covered with LGBTQ+ fun.

Resource Center
Resource Center
Resource Center

The Stonewall riots in New York City changed the course of history for the LGBTQIA+ community, not only in the United States but worldwide. The events of that fateful June 28 evening in 1969 brought to the forefront a conversation about equality for everyone, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation. Three months later, organizers in Dallas presented the city’s first-ever Pride parade, a politically charged event that was also a celebration of personal liberty and freedom. The second Dallas Pride parade wouldn’t happen again until 1980 and by 1982 it was taken over by the Dallas Tavern Guild, a new organization of LGBTQIA+ bars and venues, that fueled the parade’s growth into a major annual event.

In 1983, the parade moved from June (the traditional Pride Month) to September and was renamed the Texas Freedom Parade after a judge ruled against the Texas sodomy law. Though the legal victory was short-lived (the law went back on the books until 2003), a spirit of defiance, perseverance, and unity kept the parade growing strong, attracting tens of thousands of people each fall. In 1991, the event’s name was modified to become the Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade, honoring the Dallas Tavern Guild’s executive director who was responsible for much of its success.

The September timeframe proved popular as an annual celebration in Dallas’ Oak Lawn entertainment district-AKA the gayborhood-until the final float made its way down Cedar Springs Road in 2018. The next year, Dallas Pride took over Fair Park, home of the State Fair of Texas, for a full weekend of entertainment and programming with more than enough room to grow into one of the biggest LGBTQIA+ celebrations anywhere.

After a two-year COVID-era hiatus, Dallas Pride returns to Fair Park this June for everyone in the LGBTQIA+ community. We’ve gathered a list of 14 events to celebrate Pride in June, but if you’re still craving more, the calendar on the Dallas Pride website has even more ways to celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community in North Texas.

Laugh along at a big queer comedy event

Deep Ellum
Thursday, June 2
Dallas Comedy Club presents Queer Factor, a comedy extravaganza featuring LGBTQ-identifying comedians presenting standup, improv, and sketches hosted by Stefan G. After the show, you have the chance to jump onstage yourself with a free Improv Jam that, who knows, could lead to your very own comedy career.

GDMAF
GDMAF
GDMAF

Party with Tiffany and Martha Wash

Oak Lawn
Friday, June 3
1980s singing sensation Tiffany (“I Think We’re Alone Now”) and disco diva Martha Wash of The Weather Girls (“It’s Raining Men”) headline the 15th-anniversary MetroBall benefiting the Greg Dolgener Memorial AIDS Fund. It all takes place on the dance floor at Station 4 (S4) on Cedar Springs Friday, June 3.

Celebrate Dallas Pride Weekend at Fair Park

Fair Park
Saturday, June 4 & Sunday, June 5
The centerpiece of Dallas Pride celebrations are the events that take place at Fair Park. On Saturday, June 4, the Dallas Pride Miller Lite Music Festival, Dallas Teen Pride, and The Live Out Proud Show featuring a roster of local drag talent, including internationally recognized RuPaul’s Drag Race superstar Shangela, are the highlight of the day’s programming. Then on Sunday, June 5, the Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade marches through Fair Park.

Sammons Center for the Arts
Sammons Center for the Arts
Sammons Center for the Arts

Get serenaded at a fundraising cabaret

Turtle Creek
Saturday, June 4
The Women’s Chorus of Dallas and local drag legend Raquel Blake take over the Sammons Center for the Arts for the DIVAS Cabaret Fundraiser, an evening of pop music hits from solo artists, small groups, and the entire women’s chorus. There will be a silent auction, plus an included dessert bar, beer, wine, and non-alcoholic drinks.

Attend the inaugural Colour Me Queer Play Festival

Oak Cliff
Thursday, June 9 – Saturday, June 11
The first-ever Colour Me Queer Play Festival debuts thanks to the work of Blaque Artists Collective, Pride Owl Productions, and GRIOT Productions. The showcase of seven short plays portraying a variety of LGBTQIA+ experiences takes place at the Urban Arts Center in Oak Cliff, with an emphasis on diversity among directors, actors, and crew to pull from the gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans, non-binary, and ally communities across North Texas.

Go to church with Sister Helen Holy

SMU Campus
Saturday, June 18
If you haven’t seen Sister Helen Holy, repent now. The hilariously pious drag persona of comedian Paul J. Williams leads an ensemble of comics in Sister Helen Holy’s Secular Showcase: A Night of Comedy. Proceeds benefit Legacy Cares, a nonprofit supporting people living with HIV/AIDS.

Visit San Antonio
Visit San Antonio
Visit San Antonio

Road trip to another Texas city for Pride Month festivities

Multiple locations
Various dates in June
Celebrating Pride in other cities makes for a great excuse for a quick weekend vacation that’s a quick drive (or flight) from Dallas Love Field or DFW International Airport. Among the celebrations happening throughout June in the Lone Star State: the first-ever River Walk Pride Parade in San Antonio, a small-town celebration in nearby Longview, a festival and nighttime parade in Houston, a disco-fueled Sun City Pride in El Paso, and Pride with an ocean view at the celebration in Corpus Christi.

Strut your stylish stuff at Tuttle Creek Park

Downtown
Saturday, June 18
Make like you’re in the latest season of Bridgerton for DIFFADallas’ outdoor fashion event at Tuttle Creek Park, Picnic: Promenade in the Park. General admission includes a picnic meal and access to an open bar, while VIP access gets you a shaded tent with cooling fans and its own VIP lounge. Bring your own blanket and decorate your area if you wish, but definitely make sure to dress in summer chic (or whatever gets you through the heat of the day).

Resource Center
Resource Center
Resource Center

Win big at Gaybingo

Oak Lawn
Saturday, June 18
This month’s Gaybingo theme is “Glowing with Pride” and it promises to be the most festive, rainbow-colored soirée of the year. Your drag hosts lead you through several games of bingo (included in the price of admission) and you could win big cash prizes-if you mark all the right spots on your card, of course. Proceeds benefit the programs and services of Resource Center.

Bar hop with your LGBTQIA+ friends

Cedar Springs
Saturday, June 18
Make your way around Cedar Springs for the Pride Crawl, which includes drink specials and freebies at several top spots. Meet at Roy G’s then hop from bar to bar, including Alexandre’s, Cedar Springs Tap House, JR’s Bar & Grill, Sue Ellen’s, Mr. Misster Dallas, Round-Up Saloon, Station 4, and The Mining Company (TMC). The official afterparty takes place at Mr. Misster and a portion of proceeds from the multi-hour event benefit The Trevor Project.

Cedar Springs Tap House
Cedar Springs Tap House
Cedar Springs Tap House

Help raise money for aging LGBTQIA+ people at drag brunch

Oak Lawn
Sunday, June 19
Philanthropic drag queen Marsha Dimes presents her monthly fundraising drag brunches (noon and 2 pm) at Cedar Springs Tap House with several of her drag diva sisters performing for tips. Instead of keeping the cash for themselves, all proceeds from the price of admission and gratuities go to the Coalition for Aging LGBT.

Take part in the Juneteenth Unity Weekend

Multiple locations
Thursday, June 16 – Sunday, June 19
Dallas Southern Pride is the official annual gathering of the Black LGBTQIA+ community The weekend events include a festival, pool party, the Emancipation Ball, and concerts starring Yo Gotti, The City Girls, Moneybagg Yo, Saucy Santana, and local performers Yella Beezy and Erica Banks.

Trinity Pride
Trinity Pride
Trinity Pride

Head west to Fort Worth for Trinity Pride Fest

Fort Worth
Saturday, June 25
Later in June, North Texans can celebrate in Fort Worth with Trinity Pride Fest, a day-long festival at Magnolia Green Park near downtown. The pet-friendly party will host food trucks, an artisan’s market, and live music from local queer entertainers.

Attend Resource Center’s first-ever Pride block party

Oak Lawn
Saturday, June 25
Resource Center celebrates Pride with its first-ever community block party at the organization’s headquarters on Cedar Springs Road. Honor and celebrate the LGBTQ community through interactive exhibits, carnival games, live entertainment, and food trucks for a unifying afternoon of positivity.

Steven Lindsey is an enthusiastic eater who’s never turned down a craft cocktail, glass of wine, or cold beer. He thinks dogs are the greatest creation ever and anxiously awaits his Covid hair growing long enough to finally donate to a children’s charity. But when it comes to travel, he prefers people leave their kids at home and that’s why he founded Travel Like An Adult.

Travel

Ditch your Phone for ‘Dome Life’ in this Pastoral Paradise Outside Port Macquarie 

A responsible, sustainable travel choice for escaping big city life for a few days.

nature domes port macquarie
Photo: Nature Domes

The urge to get as far away as possible from the incessant noise and pressures of ‘big city life’ has witnessed increasingly more of us turn to off-grid adventures for our holidays: Booking.com polled travellers at the start of 2023 and 55% of us wanted to spend our holidays ‘off-grid’.  Achieving total disconnection from the unyielding demands of our digitised lives via some kind of off-grid nature time—soft or adventurous—is positioned not only as a holiday but, indeed, a necessity for our mental health. 

Tom’s Creek Nature Domes, an accommodation collection of geodesic domes dotted across a lush rural property in Greater Port Macquarie (a few hours’ drive from Sydney, NSW), offers a travel experience that is truly ‘off-grid’. In the figurative ‘wellness travel’ sense of the word, and literally, they run on their own independent power supply—bolstered by solar—and rely not on the town grid. 

Ten minutes before you arrive at the gates for a stay at Tom’s Creek Nature Domes, your phone goes into ‘SOS ONLY’. Apple Maps gives up, and you’re pushed out of your comfort zone, driving down unsealed roads in the dark, dodging dozens of dozing cows. Then, you must ditch your car altogether and hoist yourself into an open-air, all-terrain 4WD with gargantuan wheels. It’s great fun being driven through muddy gullies in this buggy; you feel like Laura Dern and Jeff Goldblum in Jurassic Park.  As your buggy pulls in front of your personal Nature Dome, it’s not far off that “Welcome…to Jurassic Park” jaw-dropping moment—your futuristic-looking home is completely engulfed by thriving native bushland; beyond the outdoor campfire lie expansive hills and valleys of green farmland, dotted with sheep and trees. You’re almost waiting to see a roaming brachiosaurus glide past, munching on a towering gum tree…instead, a few inquisitive llamas trot past your Dome to check out their new visitor. 

To fully capture the awe of inhabiting a geodesic dome for a few days, a little history of these futuristic-looking spherical structures helps. Consisting of interlocking triangular skeletal struts supported by (often transparent) light walls, geodesic domes were developed in the 20th century by American engineer and architect R. Buckminster Fuller, and were used for arenas. Smaller incarnations have evolved into a ‘future-proof’ form of modern housing: domes are able to withstand harsh elements due to the stability provided by the durable materials of their construction and their large surface area to volume ratio (which helps minimize wind impact and prevents the structure from collapsing). As housing, they’re also hugely energy efficient – their curved shape helps to conserve heat and reduce energy costs, making them less susceptible to temperature changes outside. The ample light let in by their panels further reduces the need for artificial power. 

Due to their low environmental impact, they’re an ideal sustainable travel choice. Of course, Tom’s Creek Nature Domes’ owner-operators, Cardia and Lee Forsyth, know all this, which is why they have set up their one-of-a-kind Nature Domes experience for the modern traveller. It’s also no surprise to learn that owner Lee is an electrical engineer—experienced in renewable energy—and that he designed the whole set-up. As well as the off-grid power supply, rainwater tanks are used, and the outdoor hot tub is heated by a wood fire—your campfire heats up your tub water via a large metal coil. Like most places in regional Australia, the nights get cold – but rather than blast a heater, the Domes provide you with hot water bottles, warm blankets, lush robes and heavy curtains to ward off the chill.

nature domes port macquarie
Photo: Nature Domes

You’ll need to be self-sufficient during your stay at the Domes, bringing your own food. Support local businesses and stock up in the town of Wauchope on your drive-in (and grab some pastries and coffee at Baked Culture while you’re at it). There’s a stovetop, fridge (stocked as per a mini bar), BBQs, lanterns and mozzie coils, and you can even order DIY S’More packs for fireside fun. The interiors of the Domes have a cosy, stylish fit-out, with a modern bathroom (and a proper flushing toilet—none of that drop bush toilet stuff). As there’s no mobile reception, pack a good book or make the most of treasures that lie waiting to be discovered at every turn: a bed chest full of board games, a cupboard crammed with retro DVDs, a stargazing telescope (the skies are ablaze come night time). Many of these activities are ideal for couples, but there’s plenty on offer for solo travellers, such as yoga mats, locally-made face masks and bath bombs for hot tub soaks. 

It’s these thoughtful human touches that reinforce the benefit of making a responsible travel choice by booking local and giving your money to a tourism operator in the Greater Port Macquarie Region, such as Tom’s Creek Nature Domes. The owners are still working on the property following the setbacks of COVID-19, and flooding in the region —a new series of Domes designed with families and groups in mind is under construction, along with an open-air, barn-style dining hall and garden stage. Once ready, the venue will be ideal for wedding celebrations, with wedding parties able to book out the property. They’ve already got one couple—who honeymooned at the Domes—ready and waiting. Just need to train up the llamas for ring-bearer duties! 

An abundance of favourite moments come to mind from my two-night stay at Tom’s Creek: sipping champagne and gourmet picnicking at the top of a hill on a giant swing under a tree, with a bird’s eye view of the entire property (the ‘Mountain Top picnic’ is a must-do activity add on during your stay), lying on a deckchair at night wrapped in a blanket gazing up at starry constellations and eating hot melted marshmallows, to revelling in the joys of travellers before me, scrawled on notes in a jar of wishes left by the telescope (you’re encouraged to write your own to add to the jar). But I’ll leave you with a gratitude journal entry I made while staying there. I will preface this by saying that I don’t actually keep a gratitude journal, but Tom’s Creek Nature Domes is just the kind of place that makes you want to start one. And so, waking up on my second morning at Tom’s —lacking any 4G bars to facilitate my bad habit of a morning Instagram scroll—I finally opened up a notebook and made my first journal entry:

‘I am grateful to wake up after a deep sleep and breathe in the biggest breaths of this clean air, purified by nature and scented with eucalyptus and rain. I am grateful for this steaming hot coffee brewed on a fire. I feel accomplished at having made myself. I am grateful for the skittish sheep that made me laugh as I enjoyed a long nature walk at dawn and the animated billy goats and friendly llamas overlooking my shoulder as I write this: agreeable company for any solo traveller. I’m grateful for total peace, absolute stillness.” 

Off-grid holiday status: unlocked.

Where: Tom’s Creek Nature Domes, Port Macquarie, 2001 Toms Creek Rd
Price: $450 per night, book at the Natura Domes website.

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