Pride in the USA – From City to Shining City

NYC pride parade. Photo credit: Dominic Perri

It’s June 1st – GAY PRIDE MONTH is finally here. A month of events celebrating the queer community, a month of political Actions aimed at bettering the lives of LBTQ+ individuals and a month to remember and honor those that came before us. Much coverage has been given these last weeks to the growing controversy of uniformed cops banned from marching in the Pride Parade, [Instinct covered that story here], let’s not forget how FUN pride is and how much it means to so many. 

Is there one city that has the best Pride events? I have been lucky enough to attend Pride events in five different US cities – NYC, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Miami, and Los Angeles – and I’ve loved them all and had great times at each one. I would be hard pressed to pick a favorite one or the only I could attend. That choice would be my “Sophie’s Choice.” [I have never even seen the movie but I know the basic premise and starring as Sophie – winning one of her three Oscars – is arguably the greatest actress ever Meryl Streep]

me at NYC pride. 2018. photo credit: facebook.

In My Area, in a quest to answer that ever elusive question, surveyed over 1,500 Americans about Pride events in different cities and have released the 2021 Pride Event Rankings, and the results might surprise you! 

NYC Gay Pride Parade. photo credit:

The New York City Gay Pride Parade took home the top honors of “Best Parade” with 21% of respondents saying that if given a choice of only going to one Parade, NYC would be the one.

Infographic from

However, the city that ranked as the best city to celebrate Pride is – wait for it – WASHINGTON DC. Narrowly beating out 2nd place NYC, by 0.18 points. (8.20 to 8.02) Rounding out the top 5 are Columbus, Seattle and Denver. 



Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Atlanta and Key West make up the rest of the top 10.

Here’s the ranking in one list for us visual learners:

  1. Washington DC: 8.20 out of 10
  2. New York City: 8.02 out of 10
  3. Columbus: 8.01 out of 10
  4. Seattle: 7.94 out of 10
  5. Denver: 7.91 out of 10
  6. Boston: 7.90 out of 10
  7. Los Angeles: 7.89 out of 10
  8. San Francisco: 7.88 out of 10
  9. Atlanta: 7.87 out of 10
  10. Key West: 7.81 out of 10

In My Area citing NYC as the overall winner reminded readers that “the Big Apple is the birthplace of the Stonewall Riots of 1969 and the gay liberation movement. In 1970 activists and advocates marched in the very first Gay Pride Parade to commemorate those momentous events half a century ago in that Greenwich Village neighborhood.”

Also surveyed were the biggest draws at Pride events, with Live Music landing in 1st place. The legendary NYC Pier dance has been home to stunning performances from Whitney Houston, Cher, Madonna, Janet Jackson, Fergie and Demi Lovato to name a few. Coming in a close second as the biggest draw for people going to pride events were Parades. Also making the list were Parties, Family Friendly Activities, Political Activism, Art Exhibits and last but not least – Celebrity Attendance. 


Wherever and however you celebrate Pride this year, have fun, be safe and be proud. We leave you with gay icon Bette Midler in her Tony Award winning performance as Dolly Levi in the glorious 2019 Broadway revival of “Hello Dolly!” Don’t let the Parade pass you by! Happy Pride Month Instincters.


Sources: In My AreaIn My Area states that “the data represented here are limited because of its self-report nature. Self-reported data contains issues that include, but are not limited to: selective memory, telescoping, attribution, and exaggeration.”

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