June 17 and 18: Baltimore Pride

Pride moves up about a month this year, taking place in the middle of June instead of the middle of July, as it has been years prior. The parade and block party have also moved away from Mount Vernon, where it was previously held, and in the Station North, Old Goucher, Charles Village neighborhood. The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Community Center of Baltimore and Central Maryland (GLCCB) started up at 2122 Maryland Ave., so moving Pride back to that part of town is particularly special, as the folks at the GLCCB have noted. It’s also where the "gayborhood" is shifting, following the closing of the Hippo and the ongoing bougie-fication of Mount Vernon—and with that, a sometimes liberal-turned-puritanical spirit that has no time for frank queers partying and dancing their pain away. Pride is always very important, but it seems especially significant this year with Donald Trump as our president, and homophobic right-wing looney tune and Robin Williams’ "Bicentennial Man" lookalike Mike Pence in the White House, and just a few days out from what will be the one year anniversary of the Pulse nightclub shooting. All that stuff's very, very grim, and that's why Pride's so great: It's a couple of days to have fun, a burst of tragic optimism set to disco, house, and in particular, Baltimore's own queer icon, Miss Tony. Parade on June 17 along N. Charles Street between E. Lafayette Avenue and W. Madison Street; festival on June 18 at Druid Hill Park, 2600 Madison Ave., baltimorepride.org, free. (Brandon Soderberg)

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