(Photo via twitter.com/PhillyLGBTgov)
The LGBT Pride Parade and Festival takes place June 9 this year, but it isn’t the only event happening during Pride Month.
Here’s our quick and quirky Generocity guide to things to do. Plus, we want you to make a resolution…
1. Attend the events.
Psst, there is more than just the one parade, y’all…
2. Read about local history.
This is the 50th anniversary of Stonewall, but LGBTQ activism in Philadelphia didn’t wait for Stonewall.
Liz Spikol wrote about the first Reminder march in a 2015 article in Philadelphia Magazine: “[It was] one of the first organized LGBT protests in our nation’s history. That march and subsequent ones, which took place annually in front of Independence Hall until 1969, were the first group pickets that advocated for overall equal rights for gays and lesbians.”
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“Activists Frank Kameny, Barbara Gittings and others — a group of people who’d go on to be known as the famed ‘Gay Pioneers’ — organized the Annual Reminder marches,” Spikol wrote. “The Reverend Robert Wood … says Philadelphia was chosen for its historic significance.”
One of those “Gay Pioneers” was Ada Bello, who immigrated from Cuba to Philadelphia. Visit Philadelphia‘s Arturo Varela interviewed Bello when he was working as a reporter at Al Día News, and his excellent article gives some insight into Philly’s activism: “In the City of Brotherly Love, Bello was a founding member in 1967 of the local chapter of the organization known as Daughters of Bilitis (DOB), which led a year later to the creation of the Homophile Action League (HAL),”
“From 1966 to 1968, on the Fourth of July in front of Independence Hall, the first demonstrations for the rights of the LGBT community were held in Philadelphia. Bello participated in the last of these,” Varela wrote. “A year later the Stonewall riots broke out in New York. […] After helping to organize the first gay rights march in the Big Apple in 1970, HAL organized LGBT conferences until the organization disbanded in 1972.”
3. Go to the movies.
- Take A Look at This Heart, Thursday, June 13, 6 – 8 p.m., Randall Theater at Temple University
- Queering the Lens: Queer Genius, Thursday, June 13, 7 – 9 p.m., The Lightbox Film Center at International House Philadelphia
- Queering the Lens: Tongues Untied, Thursday, June 20, 7 – 8 p.m., The Lightbox Film Center at International House Philadelphia
- Queering the Lens: Nitrate Kisses, Friday, June 21, 7 – 8:30 p.m., The Lightbox Film Center at International House Philadelphia
- Queering the Lens: Hide and Seek, Thursday, June 27, 7 – 8:30 p.m., The Lightbox Film Center at International House Philadelphia
3. Resolve to be counted, and make it easier for others to be counted too.
Yes, here is that resolution we warned you about. Generocity wrote about Census 2020 in more depth here: For LGBTQ-identified folks, Census 2020 represents both a missed opportunity and an opportunity not to be missed.
- TLDR: Even without a specific sexual orientation/gender identity question, it is important that LGBTQ folx show up to be counted, especially those who are traditionally undercounted. If you work at a nonprofit, consider how your nonprofit can facilitate the count of LGBTQ folx, especially those experiencing homelessness and those in unconventional housing arrangements. Additionally, can your nonprofit provide assistance to trans folx trying to legally change their names before the count? Will your nonprofit have counselors on hand for those who are triggered by the census use of their dead names?
Big picture stuff: Census counts are critically important for funding services and programs to the community. Learn more about the different ways nonprofits can connect the dots with census data by attending our Tech in the Commons event on June 26.
4. Take a deep dive into the issues behind recent controversies in the community.
In recent years, a number of LGBTQ-serving nonprofits have been called-out about racism, transphobia, tone-deaf leadership and more. In March of this year, it was the Attic Youth Center‘s turn. Generocity has written a couple of pieces about it — but mostly, we’ve been glad to give community members a place to voice their opinions.
It is interesting and instructive to note that Attic seems to have — over the course of three months — arrived at a place where it has mitigated some of the damage of the controversy. Here are the stories we’ve run on the issue, from earliest to latest:
- Open letter: Staying silent is an act of complicity
- Attic Youth Center issues statement amid mixed reactions to allegations
- Opinion: Black and Brown youth are powerful, not pawns
- At the LGBTQ State of the Union, props for Attic Youth Center’s presentation
- TLDR: Immediately after two former staffers alleged everything from adultism to mishandled sexual assault by members of the Attic Youth Center staff, the center made no official comment or response until the controversy was already raging. While one part of the LGBTQ community rallied to the center’s defense, another part placed the center’s actions (and inaction) in the context of ongoing, structural racism and transphobia. Three months later, with a fairly new interim director in place, the center took part in the annual LGBTQ State of the Union and talked in a startlingly forthright way about what it is doing to examine and change its policies and procedures.
Big picture stuff: The community increasingly demands transparency in response to the allegations that have surfaced from the organizations that purportedly serves it. Is the Attic’s State of the Union approach the new way forward?
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