My heart is still heavy after hearing the news out of Orlando. My thoughts are with the Latinx LGBTQ community and all of the people who have been affected. I covered some ways to help Orlando earlier this week, and you can still donate to the funds local organizations have set up for the victims and their families.
It’s still Pride month, and we will continue to gather, celebrate, and honor each other. We will not forget the victims of the Pulse nightclub murders. We promise that there will always be a rainbow in the sky for them.
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All Month Long:
Everywhere: Stand in solidarity with Orlando.
People all over the world are showing support for Orlando by setting up events over the coming days and weeks. You can find some near you or register to host your own at weareorlando.org.
The hashtags #WeAreOrlando and #SomosOrlando are another way to show your support and boost the signal for ways people are helping. Somos Orlando is also a source of information for the Spanish-speaking community about ways to both seek and provide help.
If you know someone in the Orlando area who needs counseling support, encourage them to reach out to The Center Orlando.
Even in such a dark hour, rainbows are shining bright.
We are keeping our eyes on the skies of Orlando, Florida, for rainbows. And we’re looking at a storm of Transgender Pride rolling in for Oakland, California, with an unapologetic photo exhibit. Meanwhile, Atlanta, Georgia, is getting to the root of the rainbow as they share the city’s role in LGBTQ history.
Sunday, June 19
Berkeley, California: Cross the queer generation gap at It’s About All of Us! Young, Middle & Older Queers Build Community.
1 p.m. - 4 p.m.
2712 Telegraph Ave.
Berkeley, CA 94705
This event, hosted by the Pacific Center for Human Growth, is a chance for different generations of queer folks to sit down together and share their stories with each other. The format is fairly open, with time to socialize after. Registration is free and everyone is welcome to attend. We have so much to learn and teach each other in the LGBTQ community. We're fortunate to have elders who remember the early days of the fight for equality, and young people living in an era filled with new possibilities. Come be part of the village that’s building the future for queer folks out in Berkeley!
Baltimore, Maryland: Dance for Orlando at Stonewall Family Reunion: Tea Dance & Party.
1 p.m. - 5 p.m.
15 East Centre St.
Baltimore, MD 21202
Chase Brexton Health Care and Flavor Restaurant have turned their Tea Dance Party in honor of Stonewall into a fundraiser for the LGBTQ community of Orlando. Frankly, I can’t think of a better way to honor the spirit of Pride. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door. There will be a gourmet buffet by Flavor’s executive chef and a playlist that you can help create by emailing your favorite song from between 1969 and 1979 to email@example.com. This is a great time to party with a purpose!
Atlanta, Georgia: Learn about the roots of the rainbow at Touching Up Your Roots Pride Tour.
2 p.m. - 4 p.m.
100 Ivan Allen Junior Blvd. NW
Atlanta, GA 30313
Touching Up Our Roots is an organization that works to preserve and celebrate the LGBTQ history of the Atlanta area. They’ve teamed up with Atlanta Pride and the LGBT Institute to provide an insightful two-hour trolley tour of Atlanta’s queer history. Tickets are $15 plus tax, and the tour leaves promptly at 2 p.m., so don’t be fashionably late to this one! If you can’t afford the ticket price, they have a limited number of scholarship tickets available. Call 404-991-6985 to see if you qualify.
They say if there’s enough interest, they’ll plan more of these tours! If you’re a civil rights history nerd like myself, you can also use your Eventbrite receipt to get a $3 discount on admission to the Center for Civil and Human Rights between June 19 and 26. So come on out in Atlanta and get your roots looked at!
Wednesday, June 22
Washington, D.C.: Learn how you can help homeless LGBTQ youth at Out of the Closet, Out of a Home.
6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
1317 G St. NW
Washington, D.C. 20005
With huge numbers of homeless youth identifying as LGBTQ — 43 percent in D.C. — we need to find ways to help so many young people who are being thrown out into the street or running away from unsafe homes. Street Sense is hosting a forum on this issue as part of their Lessons of Hope series. This installment includes a panel of experts on homelessness and LGBTQ issues. Panelists include housing specialist Darrell Gaston of the D.C. Mayor’s Office of LGBTQ Affairs; Laura E. Durso, senior director of the LGBT Research and Communications Project at American Progress; June Crenshaw, interim executive director of the Wanda Alston Foundation; and Jhané Fletcher, peer educator coordinator at the Sexual Minority Youth Assistance League. Registration is free, but make sure to reserve your seat. This is a chance to hear about this issue from local experts and learn how you can get involved with the fight against poverty and homelessness that affects LGBTQ youth.
Friday, June 24
Oakland, California: Witness the power and beauty of trans people of color at #unapologetic: Photo Exhibit.
6 p.m. - 9 p.m.
406 14th St.
Oakland, CA 94612
There is a terrible lack of visibility for transgender people of color in our society, and it’s rare for trans POCs to see themselves represented in ways that are at once authentic and affirming. AIDS Project of the East Bay has organized the #unapologetic campaign to celebrate, well, an unapologetic love for trans people of color. The photography exhibit, opening at the Joyce Gordon Gallery, will include a wide range of identities, bodies, and means of expression. There will also be a panel discussion about the issue of visibility among trans POCs. The event is free and open to the public, but register ASAP. Come see how folks resist assimilation and embrace their true selves!
Saturday, July 23
Washington, D.C.: March for liberty, justice, and peace at The American Muslim March on Washington.
10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
2 15th St. NW
Washington, D.C. 20024
In an era where Muslims are so quickly blamed for violence they have nothing to do with, it is important that we stand with them in solidarity as we all call for peace. I am ashamed to say that in my research over the past few days for ways people are coming together for Orlando, I’ve seen members of the LGBTQ community give in to Islamophobia and hate. We need to recognize that we all suffer when discrimination and prejudice feeds into violence.
American Islam, Inc. has partnered with groups like the Islamic Society of North America, the Islamic Society of Greater Houston, and the Islamic Society of Central Florida to organize a march on Washington in a call for peace and understanding. Participants will gather at 10 a.m. on Saturday, July 23 at the Washington Monument to demand an end to all forms of prejudice that plague our country. They cite increased violence against Muslims, African-Americans, and LGBTQ people as reasons why we need to gather in defiance of bigotry, fear, and hate.
Registration for the march is free, but if you choose to donate $10 or more you’ll get a t-shirt too! And everybody loves a t-shirt. The registration page also has information to help with travel and lodging arrangements for participants. It's recommended that folks plan to arrive in D.C. Thursday night or Friday morning to allow plenty of time to get ready for the main event.
Many people are hurting after Orlando, but as we come together to mourn and support each other, we are also helping each other to heal. We can work together to push back the tide of hate. We can make our country, our communities, and ourselves better. Whether it’s bringing out the sun or calling down a storm, we need you!