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Montgomery County Councilmember Evan Glass (D-At-Large) has announced several LBGTQ+ Pride Month events that will take place online via Zoom in lieu of in-person celebrations amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Official recognition of LGBTQ+ Pride Month began with the ceremonial raising of the rainbow Pride flag above the Montgomery County Executive Office Building on Monday, and the presentation of the annual Local LGBTQ+ Hero Award to Dr. Travis Gayles, Montgomery County’s health officer and chief of Public Health Services, who has been leading the county’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, on Tuesday.
On Wednesday, at 2:30 p.m., organizers will present a panel discussion on the effect of the Supreme Court’s 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges decision that legalized marriage equality, featuring Doug Hallward-Driemeier, who argued the case before the high court.
“Now, more than ever, the makeup of the Supreme Court is in jeopardy, and it’s important to hear from the lead attorneys in the marriage equality case about how we can maintain the rights that the Supreme Court has given us, regardless of any changes that might happen politically,” Glass told Metro Weekly.
On Friday, June 19, at 7 p.m., Glass will host a virtual Broadway and Disney Singalong for people of all ages, a family-friendly event intended to take the place of last year’s LGBTQ Family Day at Glen Echo Park.
On Wednesday, June 24, at 7 p.m., Glass will host “Contemporary Conversations,” a book talk with Claire Rudy Foster, a nonbinary trans author of Shine of the Ever, which was named one of the best LGBTQ books of 2019 by O: The Oprah Magazine, and whose writings have been nominated for the prestigious Pushcart Prize literary award four separate times; and Deacon Maccubbin, the founding of D.C.’s historic Lambda Rising bookstore, which closed in 2010 after 36 years of service to the LGBTQ and Dupont Circle communities.
Pride Month celebrations will be rounded out by a Youth Poetry Slam on Friday, June 26, at 6 p.m.
“These are turbulent times, between the Black Lives Matter movement and Pride Month, and many LGBTQ young people are trying to figure out who they are, while also figuring out the world around them,” Glass said. “I wanted to elevate their voices in an artistic way, and that’s what the poetry slam is all about: making sure youth voices are heard, that they are seen, and that they matter.
“In these times of civil unrest, it is so important to make sure everyone is valued, that Black Lives Matter, and that people should be able to live their lives without fear and harm,” he continued. “That’s the intersection of Black Lives Matter with the Pride movement. Fifty-one years ago, the New York City Police Department busted into the Stonewall Inn and sparked the start of the Pride movement.”
Glass added: “It is critically important to remember that communities of color, and, in particular, trans women of color, continue to be victimized at rates higher than any other demographic in the country. We need to fix this, we need to protect them, and we need to do better. That’s why I’m committed to holding Pride events and working to make sure that everybody feels safe and secure in our community.”
For more information on Montgomery County’s Pride Month celebration, or to RSVP for the events, visit bit.ly/MoCoPride20.
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