By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
Whether you're from out of town or a local, the range of options this Pride Week is endless. Listed below is our selection of goings-on, select fetes that shouldn't get lost in the mix.
The Best of Best Lesbian Erotica 2000
A two-night reading with hot and witty lesbian writers featured in the new anthology edited by Voice columnist Tristan Taormino, who's present both nights. Thursday features Kate Bornstein (My Gender Workbook), BackDoor Boy Teresa Cooper, Jane DeLynn (Bad Sex Is Good), poet Kathe Izzo, and Heather Lewis (House Rules). Friday features Toni Amato, Bree Coven, Cynthia Greenberg, Mickey Laskin, Jane Perkins, and Lauren Sanders (Kamikaze Lust). June 22 and 23 at 7, Bluestockings, 172 Allen, 777-6028. (Bryan Zimmerman)
Brooklyn Gay Poets
With Borough of Kings poets included in the anthology The World in Us: Lesbian and Gay Poetry of the Next Wave (St. Martin's), including Joan Larkin, Jeffry Conway, Robyn Selman, Michael Lassel, and Elena Georgiou. June 22 at 7:30, Community Bookstore, 143 Seventh Avenue, Bklyn, 718-783-3075. (Zimmerman)
Some nights at Vinyl, you can catch Mel Cheren silently shuffling on the baby powder, extolling the joy of rhythm known only to the original heads who haunted the legendary Paradise Garage, the onetime '80s enclave of black and Latin kids devoted to the divine dance tracks DJ Larry Levan would lay down for weekend-long joy marathons. Cheren, who helped keep the Garage going behind the scenes, spills some of the T from his new book, My Life And The Paradise Garage-Keep On Dancin', on what exactly went down (from the highs to the lows in those halcyon days) when it was all about the music. June 22 at 7, A Different Light, 151 W 19th, 989-4850.
Isle of Klezbos
This all-female powerhouse klezmer sextet combines folk, swing, tango, trance, and dance with traditional Yiddish music. Schlepp over to CB's Gallery. These women will make you shake your tushies. June 22 at 7:30, CB's Gallery, 313 Bowery.
S.O.B.'S Gay Pride Parade Kickoff
Kick off parade weekend with one night you won't be singing along to "And I'm Telling You I'm Not Going" in the shower, when Miss Jennifer Holliday heads up the festivities. The former Dreamgirls chanteuse gets the party into gear with the world soul house's annual bash. Expect dapper revelers as well as the club's competently doled-out doses of house, r&b, salsa, and caipirinhas. June 22 at 8, S.O.B.'s, 204 Varick, 243-4940.
Gay/Lesbian Pride Shabbat Celebration
A lesbian, a rabbi, and an assembly memberand this is nothing to joke about. Violinist Alicia Svigals joins Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum and Assembly Member Deborah Glick, hosted by Congregation Beth Simchat. June 23 at 8, Ethical Culture Society, 64th and Central Park West.
The Cuban funny lady sends off the wild party at Esquelita's tony cabaret corner, Her/She Bar, followed by a dance party, as well as a dragstravaganza by La Esquelita's cast of glammed-out bilingual queens. Keep an eye out for some free Whitney Houston CDs right before the wet T-shirt contest. June 23 at 9, Her/She Bar @ Escuelita, 301 W 39th, 631-1093.
Seventh Annual Drag March
Rock a fabulous gown (or executive realness in a suit) and come to the Drag March, where everyone is welcome as long as they don androgynous accoutrements. June 23 at 8, Tompkins Square Park, Avenue A and St. Mark's Place.
City Dyke March
Oh when the dykes, come marching in . . .Let the marching begin! From Bryant Park down Fifth Avenue to Washington Square Park you can join the spunky, proud, and very down dykes. And what do you do after a good march? Dance, of course, at the Dyke Ball. June 24 at 5, Bryant Park, 42nd at Sixth Ave. Dyke Ball at 6, CHARAS/El Bohio, 605 E 9th, 479-8520. (Gayduk)
Lovergirl: The Invincible Summer Party
Feeling lonely? Maybe 2000 dancing women are enough to cheer you up. Two whole floors and an outdoor patio full of romance and views await you. And if this isn't motivation enough, you get a chance at picking up the new k.d. lang album for free. June 24 from 10, the Chelsea Brewing Company at Chelsea Pier 59, West Side Hwy and 18th St, 631-1000. (Gayduk)
Meditation may feed the soul, but can it feed the state of the community? Channel your solutions with others at the Gay and Lesbian Buddhist Society's Gay Pride?themed meditation session. June 24 at noon, Shambhala Center, 118 W 22nd, 6th fl., 675-6444.
19th Annual Lesbian & Gay Pride Run
Front Runners and the New York Road Runners Club host this annual five-mile race for hardcore enthusiasts of every stripe. The Community Challenge, a two-mile "fun run" open to everyone, including businesses and community groups, starts at 9. The race is on at 9:30; register (early!) from 7:30 to 9. June 24, 97th and East Drive, 724-9700.
Regarding the high-drama moniker: Team NY Aquatics is sponsoring its first meet in over six years since the Gay Games, so it's a really big year for this. Come and catch up with old buds and check out swimmers from all over the country as they put their strokes to the test. This is a U.S. Masters Swimming?sanctioned event that's free to spectators. Log on to www.tnya.org for more info. June 24 at 9, Lehman College APEX Pool, Lehman College, Bronx, 212-691-3440.