- Philly Black Gay Pride (April 27-April 30)
While Philly has never been my favorite city (no offense to the folks from there), this has always been a great kickoff to pride events on the East coast. Given that the event coincides with the track and field Penn Relays, the city is full of people. Not to mention, the city is in driving distance for many people in the Northeast.
- DC Black Gay Pride (May 25-May 29)
As someone that lives in the DMV, I can say for certain that this event keeps getting bigger. I’m not always in town for the festivities, but when I am, I’m shocked by the increased number of people in attendance. Last year especially seemed extra populous. As far as the events, there are plenty to choose from. There are usually multiple party promoters in town, so if one venue is full or isn’t popping, you have plenty of options. But word to the wise, make sure your money isn’t funny, because the weekend can get pricey.
- Sizzle in Miami (May 25-May 29)
This is in direct competition with Black Pride in D.C. It’s been this way for years. However, word on the street is that Sizzle more often than not caters to a more barely legal (21 and up) crowd than does D.C. Black Pride. I personally can’t say for certain whether that’s true given I’ve never ventured to Sizzle, but I can say most of the crowd in D.C. during this time range in age from 25-35. But who doesn’t like the beach? Who doesn’t like Miami?
- Juneteenth Unity Festival in Dallas (June 15-June 18)
Now I haven’t gone to this even before, but it sounds like a really good time. Knowing the history of Juneteenth itself, and seeing how this weekend applies the celebration of freedom to an LGBT lifestyle, I for one am intrigued. Heck, I want to schedule this Juneteenth festival on my own calendar.
- New York City Black Pride (August 16-August 20)
The love I have for New York is extremely real. New York City outside of pride is always a good time for me, so going to NYC during pride is extra special. And like Philly, it’s a quick trip for many people in the Northeast.
- Atlanta Black Pride (August 30-September 4)
Given that many see Atlanta as the “Black Gay Mecca” in many respects, you can be certain that this is quite the five days. If you can’t stand crowds or not fully ready to embrace the FULL black gay spectrum, you may want to spend your money elsewhere.
- DR Takeover in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic (August 31-September 4)
This one should really advertise itself because it’s the Dominican Republic. If you don’t want to go to Atlanta and have the funds, there is nothing wrong with using this event as a vacation opportunity.
While the media may describe this year as an “off-year”, it’s simply not true. There are a ton of local elections this year. Two states have governor’s races, over twenty cities have mayoral races, and folks are running for sheriff, judge seats, and more. So this is not an “off-year”, this is a year to start pushing back if you didn’t like what happened this past November. So make sure voting is on your calendar going forward.