NEW BRITAIN â€“ Less than a year after its formation, the cityâ€™s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning organization New Britain Pride is hoping residents in the area come out and support the LGBTQ community in numerous events planned for June.
New Britain Pride was formed in June 2017 by John Board. Board created the non-profit with a goal of spreading understanding and advocacy for the LGBTQ community through pride celebrations, events and education. To commemorate the nationally recognized LGBT Pride Month, New Britain Pride has a few events in June.
The New Britain Bees are hosting â€śLGBeeT Nightâ€ť on Friday, June 22 for their game against the Road Warriors. Tickets to the 6:35 p.m. game are $15, come with a commemorative wristband and part of the proceeds from the game will go to New Britain Pride.
â€śOne of the things that weâ€™ve been trying to do is focus on different aspects of gay culture rather than the traditional, shall we say, stereotypes that people have,â€ť Board said. â€śThe Bees game falls into the more athletic or sport aspect of gay culture, then we previously did an event at the New Britain Museum of American Art that was a more cultured, artistic creative side of our community.â€ť
Board said the other upcoming event in June is a â€śLunch and Learnâ€ť collaboration with Community Mental Health Affiliates, Inc, and True Colors, Inc. This third event is focused on the theme of advocacy.
â€śWe are going to be sharing stories, Iâ€™m going to be giving what I call the state of pride address â€“ a sort of wrap-up of the year and what we have to look forward to next year going forward,â€ť Board said.
The event will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesday, June 26 at the Lincoln Room, 240 Newington Ave.
New Britain Pride was originally hoping to host a LGBTQ pride parade this June, but plans were changed after the organization recognized the scope of that project.
â€śIt was a challenge in terms of getting a parade for this year logistically,â€ť Board said.
Still, New Britain Pride isnâ€™t giving up on its mission to bring a pride parade to the city. The organization is hoping to host a parade on June 28, 2019 with several municipalities joining in on the celebration.
Board and Common Council President Pro Tempore Eva Magnuszewski sent a letter to chief elected officials of Avon, Berlin, Bristol, Farmington, Hartford, Meriden, Newington, Plainville, Southington and West Hartford on June 5 to ask if theyâ€™d allocate $700 for next yearâ€™s regional parade.
â€śObviously something like this, putting on a pride parade, itâ€™s going to be something like 20 grand when all is said and done,â€ť Board said.
The reason for the June 28 date is because that day marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, a landmark moment in the countryâ€™s gay rights movement. In the early morning of June 28, 1969, police raided the Stonewall Inn in Manhattan, New York City, an establishment that was known to cater to LGBT people. Police frequently raided gay bars in the 1960s, but the situation at Stonewall Inn quickly grew out of control and eventually violent. The riot is considered a turning point within the countryâ€™s acceptance of the LGBT community.
â€śItâ€™s a way to commemorate a landmark anniversary in the LGBT community and the gay community,â€ť Board said of the date. â€śItâ€™s considered one of the more leading and important events in LGBT history.â€ť
In May the Common Council officially recognized the month of June as â€śCity of Prideâ€ť month in recognition of the cityâ€™s LGBTQ community.
For more information on New Britain Pride and upcoming events, go to www.facebook.com/NewBritainPride .
Skyler Frazer can be reached at 860-801-5087 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.