By Lucky Tomaszek and Ashe Palmer

As every queer, gay, and gender pioneer knows, COVID-19 cast its long shadow over our rainbow world. We skipped our annual Pride revelries last year because it was the right thing to do, but it was so, so sad. Now, the whole state is racing to re-open and Pride Month is upon us. Let’s check out some of the safer celebrations in the Milwaukee area!

If you’re thinking of hosting your own party, please put some common sense measures in place. Invite other fully vaccinated friends. Limit your guest list to about 20 people. Stay outdoors in a place with good circulation. And watch your alcohol intake, because inebriation reduces inhibition, which can lead to all sorts of really fun, but really risky, behaviors.

Private house parties are not your only options this Pride season, Theydies and Gentlethems. We found a few other public celebrations to check out! To make it on this list, an event either needed to be outdoors, or indoors with masks and limited capacity.

Saturday, June 5
9 a.m.
House of Harley
6221 W. Layton Ave.
Greenfield, WI 53220

House of Harley is sponsoring a free 40-mile ride through Milwaukee (including a brief trip over the Hoan Bridge). They’re asking riders to gather at 9 a.m. and be prepared to roll out at 10:30 a.m. From the Facebook event: “Starting with a glorious pass over the festival grounds, we’ll roar up the lakefront, circle past the Harley-Davidson Museum, and then bring our celebration all the way through Walker’s Point on 2nd Street for a heroes’ welcome.” This ride will be escorted by the police, so if you don’t think cops belong at Pride, you might want to sit this one out.

Saturday, June 5
7 – 11 p.m.

Hamburger Mary’s
730 S. 5th St.
Milwaukee, WI 53204

Join Lauryl and her LOL as they DJ a dance party atop one of Milwaukee’s beloved LGBTQ institutions, Hamburger Mary’s! The event will be outdoors (on the roof! Did I say that already?) and capacity will be limited.

Sunday, June 13
1 – 6 p.m.
Henry Maier Festival Park
200 N. Harbor Dr.
Milwaukee, WI 53202

Last year as both the COVID-19 global pandemic and the ongoing scourge of deadly racism raged, “March with Pride for Black Lives Matter” was the only Pride event that mattered. Thousands of marchers flooded the route, listened to speakers, and danced in the streets. Last year’s organizers are back for another march in 2021, and it will once again be the most important event of the Pride season!

The event will start at the Pride Fest general admission gate with speakers beginning at 1 p.m. The march will formally begin at 2 p.m. and wrap up at 4 p.m. The block party will take place from 4 – 6 p.m.

Photo: Meg Strobel

Thursday, June 17
2 – 4 p.m.
Greenfield Public Library
6500 Northway
Greendale, WI 53129

Pride is for people of all ages, and the Greenfield Public Library is helping teens celebrate, too! They are hosting an outdoor rock painting event “to brighten up the community and show support for the LGBTQ+ community.” Once the rocks are painted, the group will hide them in the neighborhoods around the library. From the website: “All materials will be provided. This is a free program for teens grades 6-12, but registration is required. You can register online on the library website or by calling the library at 423-2136.”

Curious about cunnilingus? Anxious about anal? Do you have questions about queefs or problems with your prostate? Lucky Tomaszek is the education coordinator at The Tool Shed: An Erotic Boutique, Milwaukee’s only mission-driven, education-focused sex toy store. Send her an email at [email protected] and she’ll get back to you with an answer.

About The Author

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Lucky Tomaszek, LM, CPM, is the education coordinator at The Tool Shed: An Erotic Boutique, Milwaukee's only mission-driven, education-focused sex toy store. Most mornings you can find her balancing her cat and her keyboard in her lap, working to make the world a smarter, safer place for people of all genders and orientations.