By Stirling Dubell and Dahlia Josephs
On Saturday, September 20th, 2014 The New Haven Pride Center hosted a pride fair to advocate for LGBTQIA+ rights and pride – complete with rainbow balloon arcs and a rainbow confetti shower. Though no one could quite compete with the lovely drag queen hosting the affair, Piper, the small fair was packed to the brim with big personalities. After a few words from the co-president of the New Haven Pride Center, Joshua O’Connell, who asked everyone to donate to the center through their website (http://www.newhavenpridecenter.org), the fair officially began. Piper kicked off a drag show, teaming with drag queens ready to strut their stuff and lip synch for their lives! A bounce house version of everyone’s favorite game, Twister, was inflated in the center of the fair and everyone flocked to watch a competition that became more and more intense (the winner was awarded $20!) In between the succession of drag shows and twister games you were free to wander and visit the plethora of booths boasting their own special cause!
As we stepped onto the rainbow infested block, we were immediately greeted by a large amount of causes looking for support. Such as:
- The Human Rights Campaign (HRC)
- The Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network (GLSEN)
- Out Films
- Curve (the best-selling lesbian magazine)
- The Yale University AIDs Project
- The Connecticut Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (CTGLC)
- The Rainbow Support Group
- The Gay Fathers Project
And these were just few of many! One of the causes, HRC, is quite well-known as the go-to LGBT+ nonprofit organization. The HRC is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for the LGBT+ community. HRC was founded back in 1960, and since then has achieved more than 1.5 million supporters for their cause.
One of the lesser known groups stationed at the block was the Rainbow Support Group. The group provides support and affirmation to people with developmental disabilities who are part of the LGBT+ community along with their friends and family. The Rainbow Support Group is actually one of the very first in the nation!
Next, we have Out Film CT, a volunteer run, nonprofit, cultural organization. Within their organization, they present many LGBT+ centered films and other theatrical events – right here in Connecticut! They celebrate what makes the LGBT+ community unique through something we all love – movies.
And lastly, we have the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network, or for short, GLSEN. They work to improve the education system concerning students of the LGBT+ community, through educational workshops and other engaging activities. GLSEN works to ensure that LGBT+ students are able to learn freely without fearing for their safety, since unfortunately, bullying and harassment are prevalent.
These organizations support wonderful causes that aim to help make the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (and more!) community louder and stronger. They deserve so much more recognition than they get, and we urge you to learn more about them. All causes listed above are present on the New Haven Pride Center (NHPC) website (as aforementioned), where you can easily read and inform yourself about them if you have not already. Another way to support is to go to block parties just like this one, or any other events supported by the NHPC. Good luck supporting and spreading awareness!