Love is love — and it’s not something any of us can take for granted; not for one second. Be it the rights of partners and spouses in a court of law, or the simple act of feeling free to demonstrate your affection to anyone in your life you so choose, be that in public or private. Or to just simply love who you are.
The responsibility of living in a democracy means being vigilant in protecting our human rights, because the minute you ignore the very thing that seems like such a given in modern life, it can be snatched away. Pride Month isn’t just about parades and rainbows. (Although who doesn’t like parades and rainbows? No one we want to hang out with.) It’s about keeping our eyes on the prize of civil rights.
“We need big powerful displays of support, especially for young people, so they can flourish in the town they live in and realize the breadth of support,” says Tom House, president and founding director of the not-for-profit Hamptons Pride.
Indeed, there are a multitude of ways in the Hamptons to both celebrate how far we’ve come and show that we mean business in keeping it that way. Grab your best rainbow flag and let it fly at one of these great South Fork celebrations.
Pride Anthems at the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center, June 2
Raise your voice and boogie down to the songs of Donna Summer, George Michael, Erasure, Madonna, Lady Gaga and a ton of other booty-shakin’ sounds in this evening of anthemic music that threads together the 50-year fight (and then some) for rights in the LGBTQ+ community. Join musical director Brian J. Nash and performers Natalie Joy Johnson, Kevin Smith Kirkwood and Jon-Michael Reese for this all-ages show that will have you up on your feet and waving your hands in the air like you really do care. Show starts at 8 p.m. — grab your tickets here.
Hamptons Pride Parade, June 3
Get in on the fun and solidarity on Saturday, June 3, for the second annual organized free march down Main Street in East Hampton. “Our pride parade, which started last year, is the first in the history of Hamptons — people were overwhelmned and so grateful last year,” says House. “It’s so important for the community and even more so this year. There are still teens who won’t march because they’re afraid of what family or people from school will say.” Show your support by lining up at 11 a.m. on Main Street by Pond View Lane and Guild Hall. The strut down the street begins at noon, winding from to Newtown Lane, over to Railroad Avenue, Lumber Lane and onto Herrick Park where there will be the danceable delight of D.J. Karin Ward, who’ll be spinning until 3 p.m.. No dogs (sorry!) or balloons, but flags, signs and good vibes are all very welcome. Register here, and if you feel so inclined, donate to Hamptons Pride to keep the events going here.
Hampton Bays Public Library Pride Picnic, June 15
On June 15, teens from age 12 to 18 can head on over to the front lawn of the Hampton Bays Public Library at 52 Ponquogue Avenue for a late afternoon picnic and round of pride history trivia. Light refreshments will be served, but you’re encouraged to pack your own feast and brush up on your LGBTQ+ history! Register for the event here.
Pride on film all month at the East Hampton Library
During the month of June, the very wonderful East Hampton Library will be screening films in support of Pride month to make you think, laugh and cry. On Wednesday, June 7 at 5:30 p.m., grab some popcorn for Potato Dreams of America, the autobiographical story of a gay young man growing up in Russia with his mail-order bride mom, and their hilarious and touching plight to come to America.
On June 9 at 1 p.m., catch a screening of the touching Oscar-winning film Moonlight, which follows the fictional life of a Chiron, a young gay man growing up in Miami. On June 13, at 5:30 p.m. don’t miss the moving and pivotal Disarm Hate, a documentary that follows 9 members of the LGBTQ+ community in the days and weeks after that Pulse nightclub massacre in Orlando, FL, where 49 people were killed and 53 wounded.
Friday June 16 at 1 p.m. sees the screening of Bros, a love story that starts on Tinder and finds its way to commitment, and Friday June 23 at 3pm, get ready for the nail-biter Women Who Kill, in which a true-crime podcast host things her ex-girlfriend’s new paramour is a murderer (aren’t they all?).
Register for any or all by calling 631-324-0222, ext. 3, or by stopping by the Adult Reference Desk at 159 Main Street, East Hampton.
Hamptons Pride Sunday at LongHouse, June 25
The Pride event of the season! Get your tickets to this beautiful outdoor event at LongHouse in Bridgehampton, with live jazz by the Julie Bluestone Trio, wines from Wölffer Estate Vineyard, beer from Springs Brewery and delicious nibbles from chef Natalie Nichols, with all proceeds going to Hamptons Pride. Event kicks off at 5 p.m. at 133 hands Creek Road, and tickets can be procured here.