WILKES-BARRE – The month of June holds a different promise for each of us, and for LGBTQ individuals and advocates, it holds the promise of celebration and resilience.
Queer NEPA’s 2nd annual Pride Series, a month-long observation of LGBTQ+ rights founded by Em Maloney in 2018, comes to a close this Saturday — but not without homage paid to the catalytic Stonewall Uprising of 1969.
Stonewall 50: Rally for Queer Liberation will take place from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, June 29, at 25 Public Square, Wilkes-Barre (City Market and Café). All attendees are encouraged to bring LGBTQ signs, pride flags, and wear their proudest apparel. Representatives from Queer NEPA, ACLU of Pennsylvania, Why Courts Matter – Pennsylvania, NEPA NOW and the Pennsylvania Youth Congress will hold discussions and presentations throughout the day on the issues surrounding LGBTQ history and community.
“This rally is open to both LGBTQ, as well as allies. It’s important that we show these issues go beyond affecting the immediate community, that we can all work together towards individual rights,” said Maloney.
The Pride Series will conclude with the 21+ Pride Party from 8 to 10 p.m. Saturday, June 29, at HEAT Bar & Nightclub. Hosted by Queer NEPA and the NEPA Rainbow Alliance, admission for Pride Party is $5 and a $10 raffle ticket will give attendees the chance to win a $50 gift card to NOTE Fragrances. All raffle and cover charge proceeds will benefit Ruth’s Place Shelter for Homeless Women.
The response rate for the Pride Series has been positive, with more than four dozen people attending last Saturday’s “Peace Meal” potluck at the Greater Hazleton Latino Coalition. State representative Matthew Cartwright was in attendance.
“The primary function of Queer NEPA and the annual Pride Series is to advocate for queer rights, but also to shed light on all of those who are in need, to show concern for the poor, sick, and homeless,” Maloney said.
For more information on Stonewall 50: Rally for Queer Liberation, the 21+ Pride Party, or Queer NEPA, visit www.queernepa.org.