It's Pride Month! Alongside the many upcoming festivals and parades, folks will honor the history of the queer community and work to further the cause of LGBTQ equality. Let's kick off the month by looking at some of the ways that people are showing their pride from coast to coast.
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All Month Long:
Everywhere: Celebrate the full spectrum of pride.
The queer community consists of a variety of identities across all genders and sexual orientations, yet Pride Month celebrations have often been centered around cisgender gay people. You can broaden your perspective on the diversity of LGBTQ identities by connecting with organizations that cater to various facets of the community.
BiNet USA is a national network of bisexual organizations that raises awareness and provides support and resources for bi and pansexual folks. The BiNet website and Facebook group are great sources of information and can help affirm bisexual people's place in the queer community.
The National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) organizes around public policy that addresses the needs of trans and gender nonconforming people. NCTE can help you find ways to take action for trans rights.
The Intersex Campaign for Equality advocates for the rights of intersex people, or people who are born with atypical reproductive organs. (It should be noted that people who are intersex are not necessarily also trans, though some people who are born intersex may also happen to be trans.) The organization centers concerns about nonconsensual sexual assignment surgeries performed on intersex children, ending intersex oppression, and support for everyone's right to bodily autonomy and acceptance.
The Asexual Visibility and Education Network (AVEN) is an international asexual advocacy organization that also hosts the largest online asexual community in the world. The work of groups like AVEN has been instrumental in making it more common for communities to embrace asexual folks as part of the pride movement.
This is by no means a comprehensive list of organizations that support LGBTQ identities, as there are nuanced identities under every part of the LGBTQ umbrella and plenty other organizations that focus on them. As we learn more ways to better identify ourselves and support each other, we find even more reasons to be proud of our diverse community.
There will be a series of community discussions about being queer in Baltimore, Maryland; a training for LGBTQ allies in Covington, Kentucky; a trans and queer POC artist teach-in for folks in Washington, D.C.; and we're looking ahead to a conference on gender identity in Seattle, Washington.
Thursday, June 8
Baltimore, Maryland: Join a serious discussion about queer health at the Baltimore in Conversation Weekend.
Thursday, 5:30–8:30 p.m.
Friday, 5:30–8:30 p.m.
BBOX, The Gateway Building at MICA
1601 West Mt. Royal Ave.
Baltimore, MD 21217
Baltimore in Conversation, a queer sexual-health advocacy organization, is hosting two complementary events about the personal experiences of queer people in the city. Thursday night will feature a photo exhibit exploring the lives of six people from Baltimore's LGBTQ community. On Friday, several black queer people will share their personal stories of triumph over struggle. Both events will include a conversation with the audience to foster a culture of empathetic support for marginalized people. Due to the intense and possibly triggering subject matter, there will be social workers on hand and space for folks to step away from the presentations if they feel the need to. The event is free, but registration is recommended.
Friday, June 9
Covington, Kentucky: Learn about allyship and safe spaces at the Y'all Means All training.
The Center for Great Neighborhoods of Covington
321 West 12th St.
Covington, KY 41011
Northern Kentucky Fairness, the pride organization for that part of the state, is hosting a training session to help friends and family of LGBTQ folks become allies for equality. This workshop will help attendees better understand the struggles of queer folks and how heterosexual and cisgender support can make a difference. It is free to register for the event.
Saturday, June 10
Washington, D.C.: Get creative at the awQward Camp artist teach-in.
Saturday, 10 a.m.–3:30 p.m.
Sunday, 1–5 p.m.
The Keegan Theatre
1742 Church St. NW
Washington, D.C. 20036
AwQward, a specifically trans and queer POC talent agency, and the Capturing Fire International Queer Poetry Slam have teamed up to present a weekend of workshops for LGBTQ artists of color. There will be sessions on refining slam poetry, overcoming writer's block, comedy writing, and how to sustain a life as an artist. This event is free and is explicitly for trans and queer people of color, so they can work together in a safe and supportive space. Registering in advance is encouraged.
Thursday, August 24 – Sunday, August 27
Seattle, Washington: Register for the Gender Odyssey conference.
Every year since 2007, Gender Odyssey has held annual conferences in Seattle for trans people of all ages and their families. This conference helps parents of gender-diverse children find resources and connects trans folks with information about health care and advocacy, and ultimately aims to improve participants' quality of life. The conference even features programming that focuses on specific issues for families, teens, and people of color. Registration is required and starts at $75 for teens, but there are conference scholarships for those who can't afford the registration fees.
Pride Month is about more than survival. It's about celebrating the fact that every year brings us closer to a day when everyone is able to live and love without fear. Whether that means bringing out the sun or calling down a storm, we need you!