Celebrate Pride month in Connecticut this year with drag queens, virtual parades, film festivals and more

Bust out your rainbow flags and get ready to celebrate. June is just around the corner, and Connecticut is ready to observe Pride month with in-person and virtual activities.

Pride is a month-long celebration that recognizes members of the LGBTQIA+ community, promoting increased visibility and equality to a population whose members have historically been forced to conceal their identities.

This year, Connecticut is offering up programs for LGBTQIA+ members and allies of all ages including film festivals, virtual parades, Queer Prom and more.

Southington Pride

In Southington, the locals are kicking off the celebrations early with events in late May and early June. Tickets ($35) to “Diner, Drinks and Drag” on May 28 at the Kinsmen Brewing Co. includes admission and one drink. The Family PRIDE Festival (free; registration required) on May 29 at the YMCA Camp Sloper Outdoor Center is for families and kids of all ages to celebrate Pride; from 1-3 p.m. folks can participate in activities like rock climbing, a “superslide” and crafts. At 4 p.m. there will be a Drag Queen Story Hour featuring books by Sonia Sotomayor, Jonathan Van Ness and Sara O’Leary. “Balls in the Air — Drag Queen Bingo Brunch” ($60) at Witchdoctor Brewing Company on June 6 features six games of Bingo, three performances brunch and two cidermosas. For more information, visit the Southington Pride Facebook page.

34th Connecticut LGBTQ Film Festival

In Hartford, you can celebrate Pride by attending the hybrid film festival June 4-13 that features 27 film programs, 14 feature films, three documentaries, one series and 83 short films. The festival can be attended in-person at Cinestudio on the Trinity College campus or virtually. The festival is hosted by Out Film CT, a nonprofit organization dedicated to LGBTQ cinema. For more information, visit outfilmct.org.

Westport PRIDE

A virtual panel discussion on “Westport PRIDE: LGBTQ+ History; Past, Present and Future” will be held on June 2 at the Westport Library at 7 p.m, featuring Westport PRIDE founder Brian McGunagle, writer and activist Dan Woog and other members of Westport’s LGBTQ+ and ally community. Registration is required to attend. For more information, visit westportlibrary.org.

Middletown Pride Parade

This year’s Middletown Pride Parade will be running virtually on June 5 at 1 p.m. in order to keep up with social distancing guidelines, but that doesn’t mean the fun ends there. Taylor Kinzler from CT Live! will be hosting the virtual demonstration of Middletown Pride. According to the website, the Pride celebration is “intended to recognize, benefit and empower marginalized members of the LGBTQIA community.” Middletown first celebrated Pride in 2019 in honor of the 50th anniversary of Stonewall. For more information, visit middletownpride.org.

Queer Prom

The Hartford Gay & Lesbian Health Collective will be celebrating their 27th Queer Prom virtually on June 12. The event is free for high school students and offers an additional in-person event where attendees can have a photo-op and pick up swag bags. Register to attend the in-person portion of the event. For more information, visit hglhc.org.

Ridgefield Pride in the Park

On June 26, the town of Ridgefield will hold a free Pride event from noon to 3 p.m. in Ballard Park. The celebration will include a march at 1 p.m. The event is part of Ridgefield’s week of Pride events, which also includes a screening of “The Birdcage” at the Ridgefield Playhouse on June 30. For more information, visit ridgefieldctpride.com.

West Hartford Pride

West Hartford will kick off its Pride celebrations with a flag raising on June 1 at the Unity Green. On July 26 West Hartford Pride will present a Mini FilmFest with Out Film CT. West Hartford Pride is also hosting a Children’s Celebration exhibition that will feature artwork by the children of LGBTQ families June 22 through July 2. According to their website there will be additional programming planned that will be announced at a later date. For more information, visit westhartfordpride.org.

tinamarie.craven@hearstmediact.com