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Miami Beach Gay PrideHard 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)


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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


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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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