Best LGBTQ+ Pride Month experiences to try across the UK in 2023
Celebrate Pride Month with these LGBTQ+ events up and down the UK. We have plenty of experiences for June, this summer, and beyond.
Although we should be proud every day of the year, June is the UK’s designated Pride Month; a month of celebrations for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people. LGBTQ+ Pride Month began after the Stonewall riots, which took place in New York City back in 1969. The riots were a series of gay liberation protests which started in response to a police raid at the Stonewall Inn, a gay club in Greenwich Village. Since then, the celebratory month has spread from America to across the world.
This month, we have some top events for you to celebrate LGBTQ+ Pride, from experiences which will educate you, such as a screening of Paris is Burning, and free events like Wembley Park Pride and Ajamu: The Patron Saint of Darkrooms, to queer theatre shows like A Strange Loop and Shutters: A Lesbian Rock Opera, plus plenty of drag artist performances, too.
Why is Pride Month called Pride Month?
It was Bill Clinton who designated Pride Month as Gay and Lesbian Pride Month back in June 1999, with Barack Obama declaring it LGBT Pride Month 10 years later, while they were serving as presidents.
Nowadays, the month is referred to as LGBTQ+ Pride Month to encompass those who identify as queer and further identities.
When is Pride Month in the UK?
Despite the UK’s first Pride march being held on 1st July 1972 in London, Pride Month in the UK is usually held in the month of June. This is the same for other countries such as America and Australia.
For more top experiences up and down the country, be sure to stay up to date with our Going Out section, and sign-up to our newsletter.
Top LGBTQ+ experiences for Pride Month at a glance:
- Ajamu: The Patron Saint of Darkrooms, free
- Wembley Park Pride, free
- All Mouth: A Queer Comedy Show, £7
- Backyard Cinema Super Sing-Along: Mamma Mia!, £8.50
- Paris is Burning, from £10
- A Strange Loop, from £10
- Shutters: A Lesbian Rock Opera, from £10
- Classical Pride, from £15
- Bougie Drag Bottomless Brunch, £15
- Candlelight: A Tribute to Elton John, from £20
- Queer Pottery Class, £30
- David Bowie London Walking Tour for Two, £32
- Drag Queen Silent Disco Diva Walking Tour for Two, £49
- Beyoncé Drag Bottomless Brunch for Two, £99
Best LGBTQ+ Pride Month experiences to try in 2023
Paris is Burning at the Barbican
Perhaps one of the most important viewing experiences you can have this Pride Month, and one that has stayed with this RadioTimes.com writer ever since they watched the documentary at 18, is Paris is Burning - and it is showing at the Barbican’s outdoor cinema on Thursday 31st August.
Jennie Livingstone’s phenomenal documentary was rare for its time as it captured the New York ball culture in 1980s New York, performed mostly by queer people of colour. It’s as relevant today as it was when it was released in 1990.
More like this
The Barbican is host to great art exhibitions, and for top galleries in the capital city, check out the best London art exhibitions.
Classical Pride at the Barbican
With ViiV Healthcare, the global specialist company in HIV Care, and Gay Times, Classical Pride at the Barbican celebrates the contribution LGBTQ+ identifying composers, such as Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Francis Poulenc, and Leonard Bernstein, have made to classical music. This concert is presented by DJ Nick Grimshaw, and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra — made up of an LGBTQ+ chorus and top international soloists — will be performing the songs.
This event will take place on Friday 7th July.
Candlelight: A Tribute to Elton John in Edinburgh
Elton John is a proud member of the LGBTQ+ family: in a 1976 interview with Rolling Stone, he came out as bisexual, and in a 1992 interview with the publication, he said he’s “quite comfortable about being gay”. In 2005, on the day the Civil Partnership Act came into force, John and his partner David Furnish were one of the first couples to have a civil partnership.
On Friday 23rd June, you can hear the incredible songs of Elton John, such as Rocket Man, Your Song, and Tiny Dancer, live in a candlelight concert as they’re performed by an incredible solo pianist. If you’re in Edinburgh in June, this is a brilliant way to celebrate Pride Month.
A Strange Loop
For a limited time only from Saturday 17th June to Saturday 9th September, A Strange Loop will be performed at the Barbican Theatre. Michael R. Jackson’s critically acclaimed play was nominated for 11 Tony Awards and has won the Best Musical award on Broadway as well as the Pulitzer Prize.
A Strange Loop’s story is as follows: Usher, a young, gay, black writer creates a musical about a young, gay, black writer who is writing a musical about a young, gay, black writer… It explores themes of race and sexuality, and we liked it so much that we included it on our best West End shows guide.
All Mouth: A Queer Comedy Show in Glasgow
Located at The Rum Shack, right next to Queens Park station in Glasgow, is this 18 and over queer comedy night. All Mouth promises to include some of Scotland’s finest LGBTQ+ acts, with both sweet and salty stand-up sets, which are sure to have you laughing your socks off.
If you're based down south, these are the best London comedy shows.
David Bowie London Walking Tour for Two
Another artist whose music has spoken to countless LGBTQ+ people is that of David Bowie. The singer-songwriter famously expressed himself however he saw fit, and had a number of alter egos which he portrayed: Major Tom, Ziggy Stardust, Aladdin Sane and The Thin White Duke.
This David Bowie walking tour in London celebrates the late musician by visiting locations which were most important to him, beginning in his birthplace of Brixton, then heading to Soho, Tin Pan Alley, and Tottenham Court Road.
Backyard Cinema Super Sing-Along: Mamma Mia!
Grab the girls, gays, and theys, and head on down to the roof of Depot Mayfield in Manchester for a Mamma Mia! sing-along. This summer, Depot Mayfield has transformed into its very own northern Miami Beach. In the Mamma Mia! experience, you’ll sip on cocktails and sing-along to the movie, while being surrounded by palm trees, sand, and flamingos. Also at the Depot Mayfield are food stalls, drag shows, and even more karaoke sections.
Beyoncé Drag Bottomless Brunch for Two at the Brunch Club
Beyoncé’s Renaissance album pays homage to the Black and gay pioneers of dance, house and disco music, and if you missed out on tickets to the Renaissance tour (you and me both), why not do the next best thing and visit a Beyoncé Drag Bottomless Brunch? It’ll certainly cost you a lot less!
With over 23 locations up and down the country, you’re bound to find one near you and your Beyoncé-loving friends this Pride Month. You’ll enjoy three hours of Beyoncé hits sung by a drag performer, as well as bottomless drinks, and one course of brunch.
Ajamu: The Patron Saint of Darkrooms
One of our RadioTimes.com writers went to this exhibition last weekend, and can whole-heartedly recommend it. This free exhibition is on until 2nd September this year, and it’s located at Autograph, a London gallery. This particular exhibition celebrates black queer bodies and pleasure as activism, and was curated by Mark Sealy in association with Bindi Vora, featuring artworks from the 1990s to the present day.
Shutters: A Lesbian Rock Opera
A rock musical about queer love? You can absolutely count us in! Shutters follows the story of Saving Liz, a punk rocker who's band is struggling to give record producers what they want, forcing Liz to question being an out-and-proud lesbian, and realising how important it is for her music to change the world. Shutter sets out to explore love and lesbian spaces set against a 1990s backdrop, and it’s on until the 24th June at the Omnibus Theatre in Clapham.
Bougie Drag Bottomless Brunch in Nottingham
For a drag bottomless brunch you can get involved in, look no further than this one in Nottingham. Featuring Drag Queens Imani Versace, Honey Foxx, and Kiki Snatch just to name a few, you can show off your own performance skills in lip sync battles and dance offs. You’ll also enjoy 90-minutes of bottomless prosecco or beer steins, as well as wurst (sausages) and fries — perfect fuel for when you battle it out on the dance floor!
Queer Pottery Class in Brighton
On Thursday 15th June, head on down to The Queery on George Street for a queer pottery workshop. In this particular workshop, you’ll build a portrait pot — whose portrait will adorn your pot? Perhaps your favourite queer icon, whether that be yourself or someone else, a celebrity you love, or maybe even your pet. The founder, Megan Elliott, will teach you hand-building techniques and top personalisation tips, and you’ll be able to take the pot home with you at the end of the class.
As well as this fantastic class, these are the top UK pottery experiences.
Wembley Park Pride
On Saturday 24th June, Wembley Park will collaborate with The Queer Comedy Club — the UK’s first permanent LGBTQ+ comedy venue — to bring you a laugh-out-loud comedy performance for three hours in the evening. Taking the stage will be a mix of Edinburgh Festival Fringe stars, up-and-coming comedians, and seasoned stand-up comedy performers. Best of all, tickets to this event are free.
Drag Queen Silent Disco Diva Walking Tour for Two
If you’ve been to a silent disco, you’ll know how much fun they are. Although you might feel a little self-conscious at first, you soon ease into it, particularly as everyone else is grooving along, too!
Walking around London’s Soho and Chinatown districts, your drag queen host will tell you anecdotes about Danny La Rue, Cher, and more, as well as point out the best spots in town to watch live drag artists. You’ll dance along to the Spice Girls, Madonna, Lady Gaga, and more popstars, and there might even be the opportunity to take part in a flash mob…