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To begin, a quick history lesson will keep you up to date with all the work transgender people have put forth in order to help Pride month happen in the first place. The fight for LGBTQ+ rights dates back further than one usually imagines but, in particular, is typically marked by the Stonewall Riots. Led by Marsha "Pay It No Mind" Johnson, a transgender woman of color who helped the New York activist scene for over 25 years, the Stonewall Riots began on June 28th, 1969 in New York. Alongside Sylvia Riveria, a Latina trans woman, and Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, a black trans woman, Marsha P. Johnson led one of the most important queer liberations in history.
While the Riots remain a huge moment in history, many often forget those who played front-facing roles in it. Marsha was only 23 years old at the time but was a fearless, ferocious, brave leader who tackled injustice head-on in the riots. In addition to this, she was also co-founded Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (STAR), a shelter for homeless transgender youth; she was a big activist for the BIPOC and LGBT+ community, and STAR was revolutionary in many ways, including being the first-ever LGBT+ shelter in North America which was also the first organization in the US to be run by a trans woman of color. Marsha's contributions toward the first Pride parade preceded it by an entire year- the first pride parades came a year after the stonewall riots to commemorate it. Her legacy will live on through her acts and is celebrated by members of the LGBT+ community alike every pride.
With that out of the way, being trans during pride month can hold a lot of meaning for a lot of people, especially given the incomparable history led by transgender women that helped to shape the LBGT+ community today. Pride itself has a long history rooted in defying gender normalities and cisgender, heteronormative ideals. That, in it itself, is a lot to be proud of- let alone each individual's transgender experience that brings more color to personal pride. It is something to celebrate, our own continuation, contribution, and resistance to oppression. For those who are out as transgender, gender non-conforming, genderqueer, nonbinary, or identify anywhere outside of the cisgender binary, just being yourself and expressing your gender identity is a way of celebrating this. And it is momentous to do so! However, of course, it's not the only way; going to pride parades, celebrating with friends, or having your own celebration is just as good, if not more fun. Going to pride marches, participating in pride events or activities, and any form of activism are great ways of acknowledging and indulging in the history that brought us here.
Reaching out for helpPhoto by Stormseeker on Unsplash
But, of course, there is always the other side of the coin because this can be extremely difficult for some due to past experiences or traumas. And for others, this is not an option because (and unfortunately, more often than not) coming out is not a safe, viable option due to age, location, and often the stiff political climate that makes transgender people stay hidden. So while there is a lot to celebrate and be proud of, we must also be prideful for those who are unable to be. Because in addition to the rich history of activism and change, there is still an extreme deficit and predisposition to suicide and murder. According to some of the most recent research, the transgender suicide rate is up to 43%, and once every three days, a transgender person is murdered, with transgender women of color being the most likely victims.
Efforts to calculate and track transgender murder rates are often hindered by laws and data collection, therefore reported numbers may not be the best representations. Alongside these statistics come very scary legislation, such as House Bill 151 and HF 184 that allow the 'inspection' of young girls' genitals in an effort to keep transgender girls from participating in sports. There are also bathroom bills, pronoun and name bills, and medical care acts that are trying to strip away our rights. The huge dark cloud of oppression still hangs heavily over many transgender people within the United States and is much worse elsewhere in the world.
But, these are all reasons to be more prideful as well. Trans people have historically risen above and fought to be themselves- and admit the oppression, we will continue to do so unapologetically. So despite all the sorrowfully realities we face, we must take them in stride and use them for our pride, We need to keep them in mind not just to remember the reality but to be able to say, "This is what we deal with and yet, we use it to fuel our pride." Because the reality is that we are all making history just by existing and that is something to celebrate. So take pride in everything and for everyone, especially for those who may not be able to themselves. Pride month is a time to celebrate ancestors, self-discovery, friendship, and much more, so if you are able to, do so!
Activism has always and will continue to be a huge part of pride until there is equity for every minority group. So consider using these resources to continue your activism of change towards trans rights and equality. You can do so by contacting your legislators regarding your local anti-trans legislature. Or if you are able, donate to funds that support transgender persons legally! And if you're unable to do either and are in need of support, here are a few resources that may help: The Trevor project; 1-866-488-7386 Trans Life Line; 1-877-565-8860.
Author's Note: It is important to not only recognize and acknowledge the deep-rooted history that transgender individuals had in creating equal opportunities and rights for the LGBTQ+ community but also recognize the deep-seated oppression that continues to plague the transgender community today, despite best efforts towards equality, justice, and freedom. When discussing Pride Month or any celebration of LGBTQ+ individuals, give credit where credit is due.
- 5 Things That Happen When People Come Out as Trans - OutVoices ›
- Transgender Representation in Media - OutVoices ›
If you're looking to get away from it all this Pride season but you still want to participate in the festivities, take a look at these hotels celebrating Pride month. Some of the hotels are right in the middle of all the action. What better way to mix travel and Pride celebrations than visiting these LGBTQ+-friendly destinations and hotels?
While Pride season is in full force around the country, if not the world, there are plenty of destination choices to visit and celebrate. You can pick a Pride-themed hotel, a beach resort for some Pride downtime, or be in the thick of it all and experience locations that celebrate year-round. The choice is yours; where will you go?
Virgin Hotels Nashville
Virgin Hotels Nashville
Photo Credit: Virgin Hotels
Virgin Hotels Nashville is the official host hotel of Nashville Pride and is nominated for an LGBTQ Chamber Pride in Business Award as Allied Business of the year. Experience Nashville hospitality with a mix of food, drinks, music, and culture in a vibrant and inclusive space for everyone.
Events you can expect for the month of June:
- Upside Down Drag Tea with Vidalia Anne Gentry – Sunday, June 12 from 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM
- Rooftop Sounds at The Pool Club – Wednesday, June 15 from 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM
- King at Elvis Day – Thursday, June 23 from 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM
- Pride Parades – Saturday, June 25 and Sunday, June 26
- Official After Party – Saturday, June 25 at 8:00 PM
Ocean Edge Resort & Golf Club
Ocean Edge Resort & Golf Club
Photo credit: Ocean Edge Resort & Golf Club
The Ocean Edge Resort & Golf Club is located on 429 acres in Brewster, Massachusetts. Spend a weekend sitting in the rainbow-colored Adirondack chairs and learn about some queer history. Each arm of the Adirondack chairs has a QR code that links to stories about prominent LGBTQ activists and changemakers that helped pave the way. You can take tours of Cape Code oyster beds, take in the view of the resort's private Bay Pines Beach, and enjoy being in the ocean air.
If you're looking for outdoor activities, you can paddle board and kayak on Blueberry Pond, play pickleball, and tennis, or play on a Nicklaus Design Golf Course.
AC Columbus Downtown
AC Columbus Downtown Lumin Skybar
Photo credit: AC Columbus Downtown Lumin Skybar
Book the Pride Parlor Package during Columbus' Pride Parade June 17 - 19 and join over half a million people in celebrating Pride. Work your way up to the Lumin Skybar and sip mimosas, Bloody Marys, and special handcrafted Pride cocktails. While waiting for the festivities to begin, you can have your Pride makeup styled by artists from the Paul Mitchell School. They'll help you with neon eyeshadow, rhinestones, and airbrushing. The Pride Parlor is a safe space to express your style to look and feel your best during the parade.
Caribe Hilton Swimming Pool Area
Photo credit: Caribe Hilton
No passport is required when visiting Puerto Rico, one of the friendliest LGBTQ+ islands in the Caribbean. You can visit Old San Juan for amazing dining, nightlife, and shopping then head over to the white sandy beaches and crystal clear water. Caribe Hilton is a beachfront oasis just minutes from historic Old San Juan where you can enjoy everything the tropics have to offer. Puerto Rico is famous for being the birthplace of the Piña Colada and for pushing Reggaeton to popularity.
During your stay at the resort, you can visit any of the 11 dining options, hang out by the secluded beach and swimming pools, or sip on those rum cocktails. Maybe you're looking for a bit more adventure and you decide to take a rum tour, visit the rainforest, or visit the local bars. Either way, you'll be right at home and ready to enjoy the Pride events and festivities.
Aruba Marriott Resort
Aruba Marriott Resort
Photo credit: Aruba Marriott Resort
Stay at the beachfront Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino, IGLTA-certified and moments away from LGBTQ+ friendly establishments. The June 17th Pride celebrations include Pride Gelato popsicles from Gelato & Co, a Pride Night Brunch with performances by local drag queens, handcrafted Pride cocktails, and unlimited Prosecco. If you miss this year's festivities, you can get a "Pride in Paradise Package" year-round which includes luxe accommodations in the Tradewinds Club which is the resort's adults-only hotel-within-a-hotel, a romantic dinner for two, a reserved cabana at the H2Oasis adults-only pool, a sunset sail for two, and more! Just use promo code: 8LG. Aruba is the perfect travel destination for a vacation in paradise and to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community, diversity, and an inclusive environment.
Playa Largo Resort & Spa and Southernmost Beach Resort
Playa Largo Resort & Spa and Southernmost Beach Resort
Photo credit: Playa Largo Resort & Spa and Southernmost Beach Resort
Ahh, the Florida Keys, famous for being gay-friendly and a favorite among queer travelers. Rent a convertible and make the 1.5 hours drive from Miami to Upper Florida Keys in Key Largo. If you're looking for tranquil and a relaxing experience, you'll find it here with nature-based outdoor activities. This luxury resort has swimming pools lined with cabanas, white sandy beaches, and calm waters. What do you get when you cross Nashville's southern charm with a touch of Las Vegas? You get Key West, the Gay Mecca of the country, just a little over a 2-hour drive. In Key West, you can experience beach bonfire parties, drag queen brunches, Pride Parades, and more. The Southernmost Beach Resort sits along the southernmost limits of Duval Street and has three palm-lined pools, a tanning pier, private beach with lounge chairs and cabanas.
Pride Month is officially here and with it comes all the excitement and enthusiasm of the passionate LGBT+ community. Big festivals and events are hosted all across the U.S. in June and wherever you are, you won't be far from a Pride Parade!
Participate in an Unforgettable Pride March!
Photo by Jana S.
Outside of the festivities, many U.S. cities contain longstanding museums, galleries, shops, and tours, all dedicated to promoting awareness of queer culture and history. If you can’t make the trip for Pride Month, there are still plenty of LGBT+ activities to do.
Discover the best LGBT-friendly and queer-owned hotels, restaurants, and attractions in New York, Chicago, and San Francisco with this epic Pride Travel Guide!
New York City Pride
New York City always has the biggest parties!
Photo by Jessica I. (cropped)
In recent decades, New York has strived to become a symbol of acceptance towards the queer community. In fact, the city is estimated to contain one of the largest LGBT+ populations in the world. A cornerstone in gay rights activism, New York has seen significant historical events such as the 1969 Stonewall Riots and the 1966 Sip-in at Julius’ Bar. And in 2019, New York made history by hosting the biggest Pride March ever, with an estimated 5 million people in attendance.
Popular LGBT+ neighborhoods in Manhattan include Chelsea, Hell’s Kitchen, Greenwich Village, and the Lower East Side.
Pride Month in New York
Pride Month is a big deal in New York, as the city hosts dozens of LGBT+ events throughout the month. There are street fairs, concerts, symposiums, movie showings, and many more memorable experiences to be had. Pride Month also offers visitors the chance to connect and communicate with today’s leading LGBT+ rights activists.
The most hyped events are Alegria Pride 2022, Planet Pride, Tribal Fever Afterhours, and Pride Island. All of these are mixed-music festivals promoting queer artists and DJs. Don’t miss out on America’s biggest annual Pride March: the New York City Pride March, which will be held on the 26th of June, 2022.
Where to Stay in New York City
Stay in the heart of the action in NYC!
Photo by Beyond My Ken
Hyatt Union Square New York
134 Fourth Avenue
New York, NY, 10003
The Hyatt Union Square is situated in the heart of Downtown Manhattan, near many of New York’s most popular attractions. When you’re not out sightseeing, you can rest in comfort in one of the Hyatt’s spacious, pet-friendly rooms.
This modern hotel has a 24-hour gym (with complimentary fruit) and a business center. You can dine in the adjoining Bower Road restaurant for a fresh and healthy meal inspired by the local Union Square Greenmarket.
Solo travellers and groups both love staying at The Local NYC.!
Photo by Andrea D.
The Local NYC
13-02 44th Avenue
Queens, NY, 11101
A trendy hostel, favored by LGBT+ travelers, The Local NYC sits on the opposite side of the East River from central Manhattan. Solo visitors can book private rooms but most prefer the youthful social energy of the Local’s dorm rooms.
The dorm bunk beds are of a simple, practical design and include a reading light and a lockable cabinet. The highlight of The Local NYC is its rooftop terrace with an incredible view over the glowing Manhattan skyline.
Where to Eat in New York
A historic bar in central Manhattan!
Photo by Steam Pipe
159 West 10th Street
New York, NY, 10014
+1 877 746 0528
Nestled inside Manhattan’s enchanting Greenwich Village, Julius’ Bar has been cheerfully serving customers since 1864. In fact, important steps towards the legal acceptance of gay bars across the nation were made inside the historic walls of Julius’ Bar. It’s now a popular place to visit for its grilled burgers and fabulous cocktails. Stop by on Tuesdays for Julius’ Bar’s special retro ‘Tuesgay’ disco nights.
A delightful burst of flavor!
Photo by Lily B.
151 East Broadway
New York, NY, 10002
+1 646 609 3785
Kopitiam’s LGBT+ owner and head chef Kyo Pang is proud to present her restaurant’s Chinese and Malaysian-inspired cuisine. All produce is freshly sourced from local markets or Malaysia itself and the mouthwatering blend of flavors comes from Chef Pang’s all-natural family recipes. Each dish is a new journey for the senses and the subtle spices will leave you wanting more. Don’t arrive too late for lunch, though, as the popular restaurant fills up fast!
Things to do in New York CityExperience Pride History in New York!
Photo by Deirdre R.
Pride Walking Tour
38-64 Christopher Street
New York, NY, 10014
+1 860 670 8947
Many of the LGBT+ community’s biggest triumphs and tragedies were forged in the dynamic streets of New York. To appreciate the significance of Pride Month in the big city, join in on an official Pride Tour.
As you walk through the streets of downtown Manhattan, your guide will lead you through the biggest events and crucial LGBT+ institutions in New York’s history. Delve into the struggles of the past as you visit the Stonewall Inn, the Gay Street sign, the Gay Liberation Monument, and even Julius’ Bar!
Learn about queer history and culture this Pride Month!
Photo by Ajay S. (cropped)
Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art
26 Wooster Street
New York, NY, 10013
+1 212 431 2609
The Leslie-Lohman Museum is a uniquely LGBT+ dedicated art gallery and museum, right in central New York. Admission is free so it’s definitely worth a visit for the provocative emotions evoked by so many queer artworks.
Indeed, the goal of the museum is to create a committed space for LGBT+ artists and scholars to view or add work, and to open up conversations on the personal trials of the community. The Leslie-Lohman Museum currently has over 25,000 items.
Drink at one of New York's only Lesbian bars!
Photo by Jim H. (cropped)
281 West 12th Street
New York, NY, 10014
+1 212 243 9041
If you’re searching for a memorable night out in one of New York’s few remaining lesbian establishments, then look no further than the Cubbyhole Bar. The Cubbyhole is an eclectic bar filled with colorful decorations and LGBT+ symbolism. Having opened in 1994, it has developed into a popular social hotspot for tourists and locals alike. Stop by between 4-7 pm on weekdays (2-6 pm on Saturday) to benefit from the Happy Hour deals.
Chicago Pride Fest
There's plenty of Pride Festivals in Chicago!
Photo by Norbu G. (cropped)
Chicago has slowly been working on LGBT+ rights for the last century, starting with America’s first recognized gay rights organization in 1924. A Chicagoan, Jim Flint, also founded the Miss Continental pageant in 1980. This was the first beauty pageant where trans women were allowed to enter. Chicago is now a buzzing hotspot for queer nightlife, with 7.5% of the population identifying as LGBT+.
Chicago’s biggest queer neighborhoods are Andersonville and Northalsted (which has earned the nickname ‘Boystown’).
Pride in the Park Festival
Pride Month in Chicago is celebrated by a series of festivals, drink events, and street markets. The massive Pride in the Park festival is headlined by The Chainsmokers and Alesso and features queer artists such as Rebecca Black, Spencer Brown, and Saucy Santana. The colorful Chicago Pride Parade takes place on the 26th of June, 2022.
Chicago Pride Fest
This legendary street festival is June 18-19 with the Pride Parade on June 26th. You can listen to headlining artists and local favorites on three stages, peruse over 150 arts and crafts booths and eat from a variety of local food and drink establishments.
Where to Stay in Chicago
Stay right near the Chicago nightlife!
Photo by Benjamin R.
Moxy Chicago Downtown
530 North LaSalle Drive
Chicago, IL, 60654
Based in the trendy River North district, home of Chicago’s vibrant nightlife, the Moxy Chicago Downtown is the perfect LGBT-friendly destination. Each room has a stylish, contemporary design and includes an ensuite bathroom and a large Smart TV.
The Moxy features book and vinyl record libraries, a professional sound booth where guests can make recordings, and a fine-dining restaurant and bar with an outdoor patio.
Make new friends this Pride in Chicago!
Photo by Dimitri B.
3514 North Sheffield Avenue
Chicago, IL, 60657
This fantastic hostel, located near the beach and Boystown, is way more than just a place to sleep for the night. Wrigley specializes in social vacations, with a computer room and a common room, containing a pool table, a ping pong table, foosball, board games, and a Bring Your Own Booze bar. There’s also a communal outdoor lounge with a BBQ for summer grilling.
Wrigley Hostel hosts parties and events most evenings, from pizza and movie nights to epic bar crawls. Sleep easy in a private room or forge new friendships in a mixed or female-only dorm.
Where to Eat in Chicago
Satisfy your Tex-Mex cravings in Chicago!
Photo by Hybrid Storytellers
D. S. Tequila Co.
3352 N Halsted Street
Chicago, IL, 60657
+1 773 697 9127
D. S. Tequila Co. is a hip and trendy Tex-Mex place, located within close walking distance to many of Chicago’s biggest attractions. Their famous handmade flour tortillas are always filled with fresh ingredients and each dish is made to order, meaning you can remove any sauces or veggies that aren’t to your taste.
The Tequila Co. is, unsurprisingly, a great place for drinks with over a dozen beers on tap and pitchers of margaritas abound. Stop by on Friday and Saturday evenings to listen to a DJ set as you feast on classic Tex-Mex in the greenhouse patio, which has a retractable roof!
Dine at a famous Chicagoan LGBT+ establishment!
Photo by Thomas H.
Big Chicks & Tweet
5024 N Sheridan Rd
Chicago, IL, 60640
+1 773 728 5511
Big Chicks and Tweet are Chicago’s famous 2-in-1 gay bar and organic restaurant. Based in the Uptown area, with a timeless art deco design, Big Chicks acts as an informal LGBT+ community center. The bar was actually inducted into the Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame in 2016.
The adjacent Tweet restaurant serves food to its own customers and those of the bar. Breakfast and Lunch are offered in Tweet, where you’ll find a delightful range of classic dishes, with a Chicago twist. Dinner, however, can only be ordered in Big Chicks.
Things to do in Chicago
See the show that redefines live entertainment!
Photo by Inside the Magic
Blue Man Group
3133 N Halsted Street
Chicago, IL, 60657
+1 800 258 3626
For a whirlwind experience of music, performance art, and technological displays, check out Chicago’s own Blue Man Group. A show that defies definition, the Blue Man Group was founded on the principle that entertainment can transcend language barriers if none of the performers speak. Instead, they play custom instruments and present comedic skits.
Although not explicitly an LGBT+ event, many of the Blue Men identify as queer. The Blue Man Group promises a unique and unforgettable performance that will change the way you view live entertainment. Warning: those sitting near the front may get splashed.
What treasures can you find at the Andersonville Galleria?
Photo by Joshua F. (cropped)
5247 N Clark Street
Chicago, IL, 60640
+1 773 878 8570
At the center of the dynamic Andersonville district sits the curious Andersonville Galleria. A veritable maze of over 100 tiny shops and market stalls, this Galleria is an indoor boutique wonderland. The businesses are run by local merchants, many of whom are LGBT+.
Don’t expect to walk away empty-handed as you will definitely be enticed by the astonishing array of unique artworks and artisan products on display.
See the small Chicago bookstore that's changing minds and lives!
Photo by Veronika J. (cropped)
Women and Children First
5233 N Clark Street
Chicago, IL, 60640
+1 773 769 9299
Right next door to the Galleria is the amazing Women and Children First bookshop. Founded with a belief that literature has the power to change hearts and minds, the bookstore is dedicated to stories by and about women.
As self-proclaimed ‘intersectional trans-inclusive feminists’, Women and Children First acts to educate visitors on feminist and LGBT+ issues. With over 20,000 books in stock, the store encourages young readers to ease into the works with book reading events and virtual conversations with authors.
San Francisco Pride
Celebrate Pride in the Gay Capital of the World
Photo by Piotr M. (cropped)
San Francisco is often lovingly referred to as ‘The Gay Capital of the World’. Indeed, ‘Frisco has a long history of LGBT+ residents, starting from the beginning of the 20th century. In 1961, San Francisco had the first openly gay candidate running for a US public office position. In 1965, the first Gay Liberation organization in America was founded there. San Francisco also does a lot for trans activism, including the annual Trans March on June 25th, one of the world’s largest events for transgender visibility.
Although most of the city is a diverse mixture of LGBT+ identifying people and allies, there are a few prominent queer neighborhoods. The most popular LGBT+ districts are The Castro, The Mission, and SoMa.
Pride Month in San Francisco
Pride Month in San Francisco brings with it a wave of music and film festivals, and in-person and virtual talks with LGBT+ activists. The biggest music event is the Fresh Meat Festival, featuring queer and transgender artists. There will also be food, craft, and resource fairs surrounding the big marches.
The annual San Francisco Pride Parade will be hosted in the city on the 26th of June, 2022.
Where to Stay in San Francisco
An elegant stay in central San Francisco!
Photo by Kenny E.
Parker Guest House
520 Church Street
San Francisco, CA, 94114
+1 415 621 3222
The Parker Guest House is an enchanting hotel in central San Francisco, presenting a subdued, luxurious elegance in each spacious room. Formed from early 19th-century mini-mansions, Parker Guest House offers comfort and class with each stay. Guests can wander around the verdant gardens, listen to piano music in the lounges, or join a complimentary wine social in Parker’s sunroom.
The Orange Village Hostel is a short walk from the hsitoric Union Square!
Photo by Shaunak D.
Orange Village Hostel
411 O’Farrell Street
San Francisco, CA, 94102
+1 415 409 4000
Stay near some of San Francisco’s biggest attractions in the Orange Village Hostel. Offering cheap yet comfortable private rooms, and beds in male and female dorms, the Orange Village Hostel is the best place to stay in San Francisco on a budget.
The hostel has a communal lounge where they host pizza nights and organize fun activities and events. They are also happy to provide you with lots of local information for your stay in ‘Frisco.
Where to Eat in San Francisco
Come here for a rich, hearty meal in San Francisco!
Photo by Maddi B.
3499 16th Street
San Francisco, CA, 94114
+1 415 525 4905
Kitchen Story in The Castro is a relatively new and incredibly popular restaurant that serves an exceptional blend of Thai and American cuisine. Kitchen Story specializes in delicious, filling brunches.
Their feature ingredient is the sweet and spicy millionaire’s bacon. This mouthwatering treat comes as a topping for burgers, eggs, or french toast. If it isn’t included with your dish but you really want to try it, you can order the millionaire’s bacon as a side.
Eat at this amazing LGBT-owned establishment!
Photo by Thomas H.
3991 17th Street
San Francisco, CA, 94114
+1 415 864 9795
Welcome to The Castro’s famous all-day breakfast, sandwich, and burger bar. Owned by husbands Bill Pung and Dennis Zieball since 1977, Orphan Andy’s is one of the beating hearts of San Francisco’s LGBT+ community.
The interior has a homely design, with red leather on the booths and bar stools, and neon-lined wood paneling all around. This vintage style makes it easy to relax into a good American meal as you imagine the decades of queer history that this ‘Frisco landmark has seen.
Things to do in San Francisco
Experience San Francisco's best open-air LGBT exhibit!
Photo by Greg R.
Rainbow Honor Walk
499 Castro Street
San Francisco, CA, 94114
When you find a beautiful sunny day and want to immerse yourself in queer history as you stroll in the fresh air, visit the Rainbow Honor Walk. Nestled in the heart of The Castro, the Rainbow Honor Walk is styled after the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Only instead of stars, there are large bronze plaques dedicated to the world’s greatest LGBT+ pioneers.
Here you can walk over rainbow crosswalks that interlink facts and stories on some of the greatest queer influencers of the 20th century. It’s the perfect open-air exhibition to learn about well-known and under-represented figures, including Virginia Woolf, Oscar Wilde, Frida Kahlo, Glenn Burke, Freddie Mercury, and Alan Turing.
See the best of San Francisco from a 70s VW campervan!
Photo by Nick K. (cropped)
San Francisco Love Tours
2899 Hyde Street
San Francisco, CA, 94109
+1 415 366 6156
Experience the best of historic San Francisco from inside a groovy 70s VW Campervan. This 2-hour daytime tour is an intimate way to learn about love throughout the ages in the Golden City, with only 6 people maximum per bus. Along the drive, you will hear interesting facts and exclusive stories from your local guide.
Featured locations on the tour include historically LGBT+ districts such as The Castro and The Mission, and the famous crooked Lombard Street. The hippie bus stops twice for photo opportunities: at the Golden Gate Bridge and for a view of the San Francisco Skyline.
Gain a fascinating new perspective on LGBT+ history in San Francisco.
Photo by Jason L. (cropped)
GLBT Historical Society
4127 18th Street
San Francisco, CA, 94114
+1 415 777 5455
An internationally-recognized leader in LGBTQ public history, the GLBT Historical Society was founded in 1985 to promote, and make accessible, queer history and culture. Now, it proudly presents a museum in The Castro district and, though it is small, it definitely packs a punch.
Don’t be afraid to spend time reading faded letters or watching the mini-documentaries. Visitors come to learn about and understand queer struggles through the last decades. The biggest impact is often made by the genuine Harvey Milk bullhorn in his campaign exhibit.
Pride month is a time of celebration, activism, and inclusion, but it can be tough to take part when you live with a chronic illness. There is such a wide range of chronic illnesses that an individual can suffer from and they can make it difficult to have the energy or ability to take part in events.
Even if symptoms are managed well enough that day to attend an event, accessibility within queer spaces can be lacking (to say the least). While we are taking strides in the right direction, there’s still a lot of work to be done so that disabled people feel welcomed and able to access pride events.
In the meantime, if you have a chronic illness there are ways you can strike a balance and take part in pride. You deserve to be involved just as much as anyone else!
Express Your Needs
Able-bodied friends might find it difficult to understand what you need and what you’re experiencing if you don’t explain it to them (I don’t think anyone can fully understand a chronic illness unless they live with it). So, if you’ll be attending pride events with friends, family, or a carer, speak up and make them aware of your needs. You can chat before you go about what you need so they can better support you.
There are lots of things loved ones can do to help. It might be as simple as them going with you to find a quiet space when you need to take a break, or holding your hand to reassure you. It may be that your friends need to take it a bit slower so that you can keep up. If you have access needs, chat with your friends beforehand so they can help you find an accessible event that you can all attend together.
It can be hard to ask those around you for help, but it can make your life a lot easier when you do. There’s no shame in asking for help – you are not a burden!
Use Your Mobility Aids
If you have access to mobility aids and they help you, then use them. There’s a lot of stigma around mobility aids, especially for younger people. This can make it difficult to overcome internalized ableism. But fundamentally, mobility aids are there to make you more mobile and improve your quality of life!
Some people have used aids for years because symptoms fluctuate from day to day and some use a number of different aids depending on what their needs are each day. Sometimes they need to use a wheelchair, sometimes a walker, and other times a stick. A lot of people love their aids and feel privileged to have access to them. They help you live your best life! Yet quite often other people with chronic illnesses say they struggle to use aids because they’re worried about what others might think or because they don’t feel they’re ‘ill’ enough to use them.
If using an aid could help you and you can access it, then you can use it! You don’t need permission from anyone else and it doesn’t matter what others think. Their purpose is to help you live the life you want to live, so use that aid if it allows you to get out there and enjoy pride!
Find Accessible Events
Friends at a bar.
Although it shouldn’t have to be you that does the work to figure out if pride events are accessible, at the moment it falls to us for the most part. So, it’s best to do some research. If you have access needs, it’s best to email, message, or call event organizers to make sure you can access events. If it’s easier for you, you can make an email template so you can just copy and paste if there are a few events you want to contact.
If you’ve had any treatment for your chronic illness, you’ve likely heard of ‘pacing’. Essentially, it means pacing your activities, so that you’re taking rests and not overdoing things. This helps to prevent a flare-up of symptoms.
Pacing yourself during pride is important so you can take part without aggravating your symptoms too much. For example, you might only choose a couple of events that mean the most to you to take part in. You might schedule rests during the day or allocate a rest day after you’ve attended an event. At the end of the day, we’re all individuals and you know your body and how it responds to activity best.
Keep Up With Self-Care Practices
Self-care is anything you do to look after your physical or mental health, like sleeping on a regular schedule and eating well. When there’s lots of excitement going on and that party atmosphere, you might find yourself swept up in it and forget to keep up with self-care. Unfortunately, unlike able-bodied people, we tend not to be able to cope as well with this and it can take a toll on our bodies.
So, do your best to keep up with self-care even when you’re attending an event. Make sure you’re eating, staying hydrated (especially if you’re drinking alcohol), and getting some rest. Keep up with your medications and any treatments you use (It's helpful to set reminders).
Have a To-Go Bag
A to-go bag is a bag that has all the supplies you might need to help you manage your illness while you’re out. You have it ready packed so you can just grab it and take it with you wherever you go, that way you don’t need to worry about forgetting anything.
A to-go bag helps you be prepared, whether you’re attending pride or just going out to enjoy the sun. What you need in your to-go bag will vary depending on your illness and your symptoms, but we’ve included a list of examples below to give you some ideas:
- A set of your medications
- A list of numbers people to call if you need help
- A fan to keep you cool (handy if your symptoms are aggravated by heat)
- Some gloves, warm socks, a hat, or scarf to keep you warm (handy if you struggle with circulation issues)
- A bottle of water in case you can’t find a place to get a drink
- Some snacks (good if you struggle with blood sugar issues or if you need to keep your energy up)
- A pulse oximeter (if you need to keep an eye on your heart rate and blood oxygen levels)
- Noise-canceling headphones or earplugs (useful if you struggle with sensory issues)
Get Involved Online
There are often pride events you can get involved in online. Since Covid, there’s been an increase in pride celebrations being streamed live or done via group call, which has made pride more accessible for people who may struggle to attend in person. Hopefully, these online events will continue so that more of us can be included.
You can also get involved in raising awareness and campaigning for better rights for our community by sharing petitions, speaking up on social media, and sharing your own experiences.
Say No When You Need To
Women with pride socks
Even though it can be difficult to turn down an invite when you really want to take part, sometimes when you live with a chronic illness you have to say no. Your health comes first so don’t be afraid to set a boundary and stay home if you need to.
We know it can be frustrating and feel isolating when you aren’t able to be involved, especially when you see other people out enjoying pride with their friends on social media. But please know that you aren’t alone: there are lots of other chronically ill queers out there just like you.
For many, finding the chronic illness community within the LGBTQ+ community can be so validating and reassuring (there are lots of us on social media). You are valid and your needs matter. In the future, hopefully, pride will be more accessible to all of us.