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Hard to believe, but summer and its slew of Pride events will be here faster than you can squeeze into your short shorts. But if you can’t wait – or like us, are in desperate need of Vitamin D – head south to hotter climes where things are kicking off a little bit sooner.
Dinah Shore Week 2011 (March 30 – April 3; www.dinahshoreweekend.com): Okay, not technically a Pride, but in lesbian terms, this week-long Palm Springs affair might as well be. Expect massive bashes and pool parties, plus Estelle, The Real L World, and lingerie football. STAY: Hotel Zoso (www.hotelzoso.com)
Phoenix Pride (April 8 – 17; www.azpride.org): Ten days of Pride in the Valley of the Sun feature an LGBT film festival, a local heroes awards ceremony, and the requsite festival and parade, all to the thematic tune of “Do Ask. Do Tell. Be Proud.” STAY: Hotel Valley Ho
Miami Beach Gay Pride (April 9 – 16; www.miamibeachgaypride.com): Surprisingly, considering South Beach’s way gay rep, this is only the city’s third Pride celebration. Bravo’s Andy Cohen leads the charge on a week’s worth of block parties, club nights, a parade down Ocean Drive, and of course, a festival – plus plenty of tanned ‘n’ toned, shirtless eye candy. STAY: Lords South Beach
Equality Forum (April 25 – May 1; www.equalityforum.com): As much a robust international human rights conference as an LGBT celebration, Philadelphia’s signature festival is complemented by three concurrent events: Philly Black Pride (www.phillyblackpride.org), the Gay May Day Block Party (www.phillypride.org), and an exciting new citywide arts festival PIFA (www.pifa.org). STAY: Rittenhouse 1715
Long Beach Lesbian & Gay Pride (May 21 – 22; www.longbeachpride.com): Just a parade and a festival, many regard this relatively chill (despite being the second largest in the nation) O.C. pridefest as the best SoCal has to offer. STAY: Hotel Maya (www.jdvhotels.com)
Bear Pride 17 (May 26 – 30; www.bearpride.com): Big boys and the hirsute otters who love ‘em take over Chicago Memorial Day weekend. STAY: theWit
Sizzle: Black Gay Pride (May 26 – 30; www.sizzlemiami.com, www.sizzleher.com): Supremely popular and just as wild, a circuit-weekend-turned-Pride hits South Beach with concurrent fests for both men and women of color. STAY: The Epic (www.epicmiami.com)
Gay Days (May 31 – June 6; www.gaydays.com): Again, not really a Pride, but seeing all those red shirts mobbing Disney World in Orlando sure does warm the heart. Not to mention the crazy dance fests at night. STAY: Doubletree Resort (www.doubletreeorlandodrive.com)
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