Love is in the air! At least, it should be in these cities. Whether you're celebrating new love, trying to find it, or just happy that it exists, in the first place, cities around the country come alive during the month of June. Historically, this month has been designated Pride month ever since the 1969 Stonewall Riots. For decades, this month has been symbolic of fighting for the freedom to be who one is, the right to love whomever one so chooses, and to acknowledge the tremendous impact of the LGBTQIA community on the world.

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Celebrating Pride month has become more important than ever and with many in-person events being canceled last year due to the pandemic, the community is ready to shine its brightest this summer. With much anticipation and plenty of rainbow sequins, these cities are waiting for everyone to fly their Pride flags and embrace who they are.

New York City

New York City was the site of the very first Pride event which took place on Christopher Street one year after the Stonewall Riots. It was named the Christopher Street Liberation Day and took place in March, whereas the current Pride Parade now takes place at the end of June.

However, visitors don't need to go to Christopher Street, specifically, to take part in Pride celebrations - they happen city-wide. This year, the city's theme is 'The fight Continues,' symbolic of the work that's ongoing for both the community and its allies. While the festivities are mostly virtual this year, you can still head to the East and West Villages to take part in smaller, local celebrations.

Portland, Oregon

Portland is known for its LGBTQIA-friendly community and the city's annual Pride Parade has been ongoing since 1977. While tens of thousands of people gather every June to watch the parade together in person, this year, it's going virtual.

The parade can be watched on June 20th via the Pride North YouTube channel, but don't worry - that's not the only event that Portland will see this month! Additionally, two nights of LGBTQ+ films will be screened at The Lot at Zidell Farms, featuring personal pods for guests to watch them from. The event is called Pride Pics and will be one of several local events hosted by the community.

Chicago

Chicago has always had a vibrant LGBTQIA+ community and Boystown has been the center of it for decades. While there's plenty to see there during any other month of the year with colorful shops, dining establishments, and clubs, June is a special month for this unique neighborhood.

June 26th and 27th will play host to a two-day live music series, featuring the legend herself, Chaka Khan, and the famed dj Tiesto. This year, the parade will also be taking place on June 24th, which will have its usual route from Lincoln Park through Uptown and Northalsted. If you can't make it to either of these events, fear not - there's plenty of local events going on throughout the month, as well.

Los Angeles

San Francisco is the California destination to be for Pride month but Los Angeles is equally fun and vibrant. This year, the festivities are taking place online although traditionally, this city hosts the LA Pride Parade and Festival. The event is massive and draws hundreds of thousands of people to celebrate each year and, even though the events are virtual this year, there will no doubt be the same level of support as in previous years.

The theme for Los Angeles this year is 'Thrive with Pride,' and you can do just that by starting off with a Zoom concert featuring Charli XCX on June 10th. Additionally, the Gay Men's Chorus of LA will also be kicking off Pride celebrations with a performance live from the Getty Center.

Denver

Denver is known as being one of the fittest cities in the countries but it also has a beautiful LGBTQIA+ community. Traditionally, the Denver PrideFest has taken place annually for two days during the month of June but this year, like many other cities, the event is virtual. While the crowd that attends is usually upwards of 350,000 participants, this year, they'll have the chance to take part in a virtual 5k, virtual parade, a Pride decorating party, and a virtual Twitch dance party.

Even though the events of this year won't be taking place in person, a trip to Denver during the month of June is sure to be a hit still thanks to its virtual decorating party. Denver residents are encouraged to decorate their homes in honor of Pride Month, and it's sure to paint the city in a rainbow array of colors.

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