New York

How to Support the LGBTQ+ Community in NYC During Pride

From events and organizations to restaurants and performers, you can make a difference.

NYC Pride
NYC Pride
NYC Pride

Pride Month is a triumphant time in New York City, home of the original gay liberation movement and the first LGBTQ+ Pride March. Last June-just one year after hosting dozens of WorldPride events to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots-New Yorkers tabled the usual Pride celebrations amid the pandemic and shifted their focus toward lifting up struggling queer businesses and protesting police brutality against BIPOC communitues.

In 2021, the world is beginning to resume business as usual, but there are still plenty of ways that you can tap into the true spirit of Pride and use June as an opportunity to support the queer community at large, no matter your orientation and gender identity.

We compiled a list of businesses, organizations, events, and performers to turn your attention toward this Pride Month in order to make the biggest impact in NYC-now get to work!

Housing Works Inc.
Housing Works Inc.
Housing Works Inc.

Support vital LGBTQ+ organizations

Since the dawn of the queer liberation movement, nonprofits have played a central role in helping LGBTQ+ people of all ages thrive, and today, they are no less important. This Pride Month, ensure that future queer people have access to the resources they need by donating money or time to one of NYC’s most impactful organizations.

Even in the 21st century, LGBTQ+ people are far too familiar with health care discrimination. Fortunately, New Yorkers have access to affordable non-profit health clinics that offer inclusive and affirmative care for gay and trans people seeking a safe space. Health organizations like Callen-Lorde, APICHA, and the Gay Men’s Health Clinic stay afloat in part thanks to volunteers, advocates, and financial donors.

According to the Ali Forney Center, up to 40% of NYC’s homeless youth identify as members of the LGBTQ+ community. The AFC exists to help lower that percentage, offering housing and meal assistance to several homeless youth each year thanks to volunteers and food and clothing donations. Similarly, Housing Works is able to tackle the dual housing and AIDS crises with help from donations and retail sales.

The Center is a community hub for LGBTQ+ people seeking support and connection, with an added focus on empowering youth who are still getting comfortable with their gender or sexuality. On the flip side, SAGE NYC specializes in queer elder care, a model that’s gained added importance amid a dangerous pandemic.

Edy's Grocer
Edy’s Grocer
Edy’s Grocer

Go out to queer-owned restaurants and bars

LGBTQ+ restaurants and bars have always deserved our business, but following the devastating COVID-19 pandemic, many surviving spots are hanging on by a thread. Pride Month is the perfect opportunity to give queer-owned establishments a much-needed financial boost-and have fun doing it.

NYC is one of the best cities for gay nightlife, with seemingly endless bar options that each offer a different experience. Three particularly monumental bars that have teetered on the edge of shutting down over the past year could use your help: Julius’, the city’s oldest gay bar and home of the history-making “Sip-In“; The Stonewall Inn, where the gay liberation movement started; and Alibi Lounge and Lambda Lounge, some of the few only Black-owned queer bars in the city.

On tame days when you’re just looking for a bite to eat, you have a wealth of LGBTQ+ restaurants to choose from that need your business. Order American fare at Elmo, Mexican meals at Fonda, signature bowls at Blue Park Kitchen, New Mexican (the American state) burritos and more at Ursula, cafe food at Foster Sundry, Lebanese dishes and goods at Edy’s Grocer, or Italian plates at Via Carota.

Want coffee and a treat? Find espresso at Odd Fox in Greenpoint and Bed-Stuy or Kahve Coffee in Hell’s Kitchen. Then, head to a queer bakery. Tip: A Cupcake Wars-winning pastry chef runs Huascar & Co. Bakeshop in Midtown, and some of the best chocolates in NYC are found at Li-Lac‘s two Lower Manhattan locations. 

Always tip your performers and queens

At some point in your Pride endeavors, you may find yourself at a drag brunch, nightclub, concert, or other live performance. After a year of little-to-no live performances in NYC, entertainers are banking on Pride Month for a much-needed financial lift, which brings us to a lesson you hopefully already know: Always, always tip your queens.

If a drag queen or go-go dancer starts performing at the bar you’re in and you don’t have cash on hand, slip out and grab cash or find another spot to drink. Cover charges and ticket costs don’t excuse you from tipping.

If you’re enjoying an entertainer’s art, regardless of the circumstance you’re in, you should tip. It’s common courtesy, and they worked hard to earn it. (Note: This also applies to bartenders, servers, baristas, and anyone in the service industry who makes your Pride experience more enjoyable.)

Reclaim Pride Coalition
Reclaim Pride Coalition
Reclaim Pride Coalition

Participate in Pride events around the city or from your couch

One of the coolest parts of Pride in NYC is seeing thousands of people from all walks of life gather to celebrate a historically oppressed group. Pride events are straight-up fun, but they also play an important role in showing struggling queers that they’re supported and sending a message to the greater community that bigotry isn’t welcome here.

A broadcasted version of the iconic NYC Pride March and a grassroots, in-the-streets Queer Liberation March are happening on the final Sunday of June again, but there are various events throughout the month-both virtual and IRL-to enjoy prior to the grand finale.

Attend a march celebrating Black and Asian LGBTQ+ communities at the Blasian March on June 5. Join Brooklyn Liberation on June 13 for their follow-up event to last year’s march for Black trans lives. Round up the little ones in your life for an age-appropriate and queer-affirmative digital film screening during NYC Pride’s Family Movie Night on June 17. Go biking during the OutCycling Pride Ride or jogging during the Frontrunners Pride Run. Continue to advocate for Black trans lives and pay respect to victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting at this year’s Pride Rally on June 25. Enjoy a street fair in the Village with PrideFest on June 27. If you’re still looking for activities, check in with your favorite clubs and venues to see what they’ve got on the calendar.

Educate yourself & show solidarity

The beauty of the LGBTQ+ community is how much diversity it houses. That said, no two queer experiences are the same, and it’s important to recognize that allies and queer people alike always have growing to do. You may identify as queer, or have a friend who does, but that doesn’t mean you know what all LGBTQ+ people are going through.

This Pride Month, open your ears and hearts and educate yourself on LGBTQ+ history and the challenges that queer people endure every day. Tune into panels and seminars during NYC Pride’s three-day Human Rights Conference, watch impactful international theater at the Criminal Queerness Festival, and roam the High Line after June 21 to get a look at modern-day ballroom culture with The Center’s new photography exhibit, Visions of Pride: Paris Is Still Burning.

You can also push society forward with small actions that aren’t limited to Pride Month. Rather than slapping a rainbow banner on your profile photo during June, permanently add your pronouns to social media bios and put them in your email signatures. It not only helps people address you properly, but gently dismantles stereotypes and binaries by reinforcing the idea that pronouns shouldn’t be assumed.Sign up here for our daily NYC email and be the first to get all the food/drink/fun New York has to offer.

Kyler Alvord is a former staff writer at Thrillist and proud NYC queer. Find him on Twitter and Instagram. Or don’t. It’s really up to you.

New York

Scavenge for Peeps Cookies and More Fun Treats in NYC This Easter

The best Easter desserts in NYC this spring include Easter Bunny Churros and Carrot Cake Macarons.

Photo courtesy of Funny Face Bakery
Photo courtesy of Funny Face Bakery
Photo courtesy of Funny Face Bakery

As spring makes its way through New York City, not only do we get to enjoy beautiful weather, stunning cherry blossoms, and cool activities priced at $Free.99, but it’s also the perfect time for some limited-edition desserts.

With Easter fast approaching, bakeries are filling their shops with tons of chocolate eggs, carrot cake-flavoured everything and all types of flavours that offer both nostalgia and innovation within the city’s dessert landscape. After you’ve picked up a cake from the city’s best new bakeries, from Easter Bunny Churros to Carrot Cake Macarons, here are 8 Easter desserts to try in NYC right now.

Photo courtesy of Magnolia Bakery
Photo courtesy of Magnolia Bakery
Photo courtesy of Magnolia Bakery

Magnolia Bakery

Throughout April
Various locations
There’s great news for devotees of Magnolia Bakery’s Classic Banana Pudding: For Easter, the spot is mixing up the iconic dessert’s vanilla pudding with some carrot cake. The Carrot Cake Pudding is filled with freshly grated carrots, coconuts, pineapples, raisins, and walnuts. And if both bananas and carrots aren’t your thing, they’ll be offering their Classic Vanilla Cupcakes in pastel colours with a Cadbury chocolate egg hidden inside.

Photo courtesy of Funny Face Bakery
Photo courtesy of Funny Face Bakery
Photo courtesy of Funny Face Bakery

Funny Face Bakery

Through Easter Sunday
NoHo and Seaport
Known for their celebrity face and meme-worthy decorated cookies, fans of Funny Face Bakery know that a new fun design is always just around the corner. For Easter, they’ve created the adorable Hoppy Easter decorated cookie that resembles a classic box of marshmallow Peeps. Along with that, they also have the return of their fan-favourite Caramel Pretzel Chip cookie flavour, plus a set of three mini-decorated cookies perfect for gifting.

The Doughnut Project

Friday, April 7 through Easter Sunday
West Village
With the ever-changing flavours at The Doughnut Project, it’s super easy to miss out on trying out a new debut. But this Easter weekend, there will be two new flavours available. One is of course, a carrot cake doughnut topped with a cream cheese glaze, and the other is known as the Doughnut Nest-a French cruller “nest” with a cream-filled doughnut hole “egg” in the centre.

Photo by Cole Saladino, courtesy of The Fragile Flour
Photo by Cole Saladino, courtesy of The Fragile Flour
Photo by Cole Saladino, courtesy of The Fragile Flour

The Fragile Flour

Wednesday, April 5 through Easter Sunday
East Village
For stellar vegan desserts this holiday, head to The Fragile Flour, a plant-based bakery and dessert wine bar. They’re known for going all out for each holiday with a variety of new pastry options that you can pair perfectly with a glass of wine. This Easter, they’ll have a whole dessert menu that’s both delicious and gorgeous for posting on IG. The menu includes Stuffed Carrot Cake Cookies, a Lemon Cake (whole or by the slice), some festive cupcakes, and specialty macarons.

Photo courtesy of Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate
Photo courtesy of Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate
Photo courtesy of Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate

Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate

Through mid April
Midtown
For a luxurious take on Easter chocolates, browse the selections available at Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate. You can even pick the Easter Signature Chef’s Selection for a special box curated by award-winning chefs. For something other than chocolate, choose between the Carrot Cake Macarons or the cake flavored Easter Marshmallow Trio, both of which are almost too cute to eat.

La Churreria

Throughout April
Nolita
This churro-centric spot is putting the cutest Easter spin on their crispy cinnamon churros by twisting them up into bunnies and bunny ears. At Churreria, choose from a Bunny Churro Lollipop topped with your choice of chocolate or dulce de leche and sprinkles, or the bunny ear churros in the Ube and Matcha ice cream sundae or the Ube Milkshake, both of which are made with ice cream from il laboratorio del gelato.

Photo by Briana Balducci
Photo by Briana Balducci
Photo by Briana Balducci

Lafayette

Throughout April
NoHo
You’ve surely seen this croissant tons of times while scrolling through IG or TikTok, whether it’s the Pain au Chocolat one or the latest of the month. Known as Supr√™mes, these filled croissants went viral and continue to live up to the hype each time a new flavour comes out. April’s flavour-sour cherry amaretto with a Luxardo custard and toasted almonds. While you’ll have to be super early and wait in line during one of their three drops of the day to get a taste, we promise you it’ll be worth it.

Photo courtesy of Levain
Photo courtesy of Levain
Photo courtesy of Levain

Levain

Seasonal
Various locations
We all know the iconic cookies from Levain-they’re gigantic, perfectly crispy and chewy, and well worth the long lines. For spring, the shop is launching a new flavour: Caramel Coconut Chocolate Chip. Filled with gooey caramel chips, fresh shredded coconut, and melty dark chocolate, it’s one you’ve got to try while it’s still around. To further celebrate the new season, all of Levain’s storefronts will be decked out in spring floral displays, serving as the perfect backdrop for pictures.

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Alaina Cintron is an Editorial Assistant at Thrillist. Her work can also be found in Westchester Magazine, Girls’ Life, and Spoon University. When she’s not at her desk typing away, you can find her exploring a local coffee shop or baking a new recipe.

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