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June is Pride Month and so LGBTQ programming is a lot more active than usual. Here are 45 cultural and subcultural events going on in the region. These events are all open to the public, although some might be 18+ or 21+. (If you’re new to these types of spaces and are not yourself LGBTQ, maybe first read about How Not To Take Up Space While Taking Up Space).
Click links for info on ticket prices, etc.
[photo: Shannon Hartman and Daraja Hinds in Fun Home at The Wilbury Group | photo: Erin X. Smithers]
A Rainbow Flag Raising takes place at Providence City Hall (5:30pm).
Festivals and Parades
May 31-June 2
The second annual Newport Pride kicks off Friday, May 31 with a flag raising (4:30pm). Other events include beach yoga (Friday), a cruise on a schooner and a party at Christie’s (Saturday), a bike parade, Equality Fest, and tea dance at Parlor (all Sunday).
June 1-–June 2
The inaugural Fall River Pride Festival happens in Government Square on Sunday (12-4pm). On Saturday there’s a Drag Queen Storytime for kids and families at Fall River Public Library (11am).
PVDFest is in full swing on Saturday. Famed costume designer Machine Dazzle is hosting a hat and sash making workshop presented by FirstWorks at the Dark Lady (12-3pm). The festival also includes performances by local queer acts Le Feeling and La Neve (times/locations tbd).
The first annual POC Dyke & Trans March takes place in Burnside Park (5:30pm).
RI PrideFest! There’s a daytime party (12-7pm) and then a parade at 8pm. Night parades are more fun than day parades, mostly because it’s easier to be in party mode after dark than it is on a Saturday morning.
Child star turned Voice contestant Billy Gilman, who came out publicly in 2014, plays the Greenwich Odeum (8pm).
Twelve contestants compete for prizes in the three-round Pride Idol at Mirabar (7:30pm).
Eva Destruction hosts the monthly Sweet Little Variety Show at Askew (8pm).
Visibilities curates a night of music at AS220 Main Stage. (8pm)
Ego has up-and-coming rapper Saweetie, whose Icy Girl packs a lot of punch in under two minutes. I’m still kicking myself for missing Cardi B when she played this block party two years ago, roughly two weeks before she became a household name. (10pm)
Freestyle trio Expose will be at the Dark Lady block party performing their hits from yesteryear, like “Point of No Return” and “Come Go With Me”. (10pm)
The official RI Pride Art Gallery is spread across four locations: Sprout CoWorking, Providence City Hall, the Providence Marriott on Orms Street, and 2 Charles Street. Times vary by location. There’s an opening reception with live music at the Charles Street space on Tuesday, June 4 (7-9:30pm).
Celebrity guide Pop Icon leads a pride-themed Gallery Night tour that leaves from Sprout Coworking (7pm).
That same evening, the RISD Museum is hosting a talk called Viewpoints: Queer Art, which looks at specific items in the museum’s collection. (5:30pm; space is limited so you should register in advance for that one.)
Until July 7
Don’t miss RISD Museum’s hour-long video program Bona Drag: An Incomplete History of Drag and Cross-Gender Performance in Film and Video Art.
Until July 14 (maybe)
Bristol Art Museum’s Dead Ringers looks at digital mediation in our understanding of news events. From bikinis printed with images from school shooting sites to the disco balls inserted into homoerotic military imagery, the show was canceled twice before it even opened.
Locally made drag horror film Death Drop Gorgeous is about to finish shooting, but they need extras for a club scene on May 31 at Dusk (6:30pm).
At Warwick Public Library, Rhode Island International Film Festival presents Secret Cinema, a preview of some LGBT shorts that they’ll be screening at the festival later this summer. (7pm)
Head to Mystic for a screening of the Rocky Horror Picture Show at Mystic Luxury Cinemas (10pm).
Magic Lantern Cinema acknowledges the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots with two films about the event: Arthur Dong’s The Question of Equality: Out Rage ‘69 (1993) and Happy Birthday Marsha (2017), by Tourmaline and Sasha Wortzel. Part of the Queer Arts Festival at AS220 Black Box (7pm).
Elton John biopic Rocketman is out now. There’s a free screening on June 11 at Showcase Cinemas Providence Place, presented by SAGE-RI and RI AARP, for seniors and AARP members.
Avon Cinema was promoting the fascinating Emily Dickinson biopic Wild Nights With Emily on their Coming Soon page, but it’s gone now and who knows if they’ll ever actually show it.
Until June 16
Musical tragedy Fun Home, about a lesbian cartoonist and her gay father, runs at The Wilbury Group.
Epic Theatre Company is staging Dada Woof Papa Hot, a 2015 drama about gay parents in the big city.
Steel Magnolias isn’t explicitly gay, though the film and the play that it’s based on do have a big gay following. That’s at Arctic Playhouse.
JDP Theatre is doing The Laramie Project for one weekend only at the Assembly Theatre in Burrillville.
There’s a release party for the new issue of Options, which features a more thorough Pride guide than this one (3pm).
Micah Salkind launches his new book Do You Remember House?: Chicago’s Queer of Color Undergrounds with a panel discussion/dance party at the Dark Lady (June 7).
Bristol Public Library announced and then abruptly canceled a Drag Queen Story Hour that was scheduled for June 15. After a public outcry and zero apology whatsoever, the library reversed and the event’s now scheduled for June 15 at 1pm. This is a win for the children of Bristol, but it’s also a win for everyone else, because in the meantime a number of other folks jumped in to start planning their own drag story hours. The RISD Museum is doing one earlier in the day on June 15 (10:30am). Providence Community Library is moving forward with an event they were already planning for July, and events in Newport and beyond will be announced very soon.
Tender Table is a series featuring stories about food told by women, trans, and nonbinary folks who are black, indigenous, or people of color. This event is part of AS220’s Queer Arts Fest (12pm).
Books on the Square’s monthly Queer Book Club discusses Ahmad Danny Ramadan’s The Clothesline Swing (7pm).
Providence Gay Men’s Chorus present Rights of Passage in three concerts.
Local choral ensemble Collegium Ancora is doing a free concert called In Harmony at Grace Pavilion in downtown Providence before the parade (5pm).
Fun and Games
The AIDS Run/Walk for Life takes place at Roger Williams Park on Saturday. It’s free to walk or $40 to take part in the 5K (9am).
The Center for Sexual Pleasure and Health (CSPH) hosts a Pride edition of Sex Trivia at Fortnight. (7pm)
Thundermist Celebrates Pride Month with a whole bunch of health-focused activities ranging from a family-friendly, trans-centered swim night (June 16) to bowling, rock climbing, and a jaunt to the Botanical Center at Roger Williams Park. There are also free fitness and yoga classes.
Freeplay Bar and Arcade hosts a weekly Gayme Night every Monday.
Massimo hosts its monthly Drag Brunch (12pm).
Askew is hosting Dykestravaganza! Dykelicious Drag & Burlesque! (7:30pm)
There’s a Feminist & Queer Happy Hour at Saint Monday (6–9:30pm).
AS220 and the Providence G are both hosting Pride parade viewing parties. The AS220 event turns into a dance party featuring Nicole Misha and Math3ca (9pm). The G party coincides with the monthly SURGE tea dance (6pm).
There’s also a daylong Womxn’s Block Party at Askew (2–9pm), in addition to parties and block parties happening at basically every venue downtown.
Pride’s official Drag Brunch takes place at the Graduate (aka the old Biltmore) downtown, and features Jasmine Masters from RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 4 (11am). There’s an unofficial drag brunch happening at The Black Sheep, too (10am). If you prefer your drag after dark, they’re also doing a Dinner in Drag event on June 25 (7pm)
If you like watching grown men rip each other’s underwear off in a kiddie pool, there are two Lube Wrestling events this year, one on June 1 at the Providence Eagle (10pm) and one on June 16 at Ego (9pm).
Queer Beer Afternoon at Revival Tasty Room (3-6pm). King & Queen performances. Networking and low key hangout time. Wheelchair accessible. Vegan friendly.