June is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Pride Month, honoring the 1969 Stonewall riots in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of New York City. These riots were caused after police raided The Stonewall Inn, a hotel where many LGBT people lodged. The Stonewall riots was a defining point in the Gay Liberation Movement in the United States, considered by most to be the most important event leading to the modern-day fight for LGBT rights in this country.
The city of Baltimore will celebrate Pride Month June 17-18. The Parade & Block Party will be on Saturday, June 17 in the Charles North neighborhood and the festival will be held on Sunday, June 18 in Druid Hill Park.
People of color will be represented at the parade and festival this weekend, organizers said.
The president of Baltimore Pride and The Gay & Lesbian Community Center of Baltimore (GLCCB) is an African-American man, Jabari M. Lyles, who said in a statement concerning the GLCCB and Baltimore Pride: “Our work will always be centered on the needs and experiences of Black people, brown people, transgender, and gender-diverse people, young people, people with disabilities, seniors, and those living with HIV/AIDS.”
The master of ceremony for both days are also African American. Lucky is Saturday’s emcee and Kevin Lai will host on Sunday.
Activities geared for the African-American LGBT community are:
- 2nd Annual Baltimore Pride and Open Mic which will take place Friday, June 16 at 7 p.m. at The Impact Hub (10 E North Avenue).
- Big Freedia, a New Orleans rapper and “Queen of Bounce” music will headline the Baltimore Pride Block Party on Saturday, June 17 at 9 p.m.
Baltimore has been celebrating Pride Month with a parade and festival since 1975. Baltimore Pride has grown from a small gathering of few dozen activists to a huge festival welcoming over 30,000 revelers at Baltimore’s largest LGBTQ visibility event.