In some ways, there has never been more LGBTQ+ Pride in greater Westchester County and Connecticut. From flag raising ceremonies, to family-friendly comedy shows, to street festivals and parades, there’s a little something for everyone. Pride is a celebration of joy and acceptance, a radical expression of love for ourselves and for each other. Nothing, and no one, can take that away from us.
But some folks are really trying to, aren’t they?
The LGBTQ+ community is under vicious attack throughout the country. It’s tempting to try to fight fire with fire, give the haters a taste of their own venom. But actually one of our greatest weapons in this movement is Pride.
Pride is not just about marching in parades. Here in the greater Westchester County and Connecticut, it can mean attending a Pride Flag Raising Ceremony in Norwalk, or Easton, Greenwich, or Waterbury. There are parades and street festivals planned in places like Rye, Yorktown, Putnam, Yonkers, New Rochelle, and Mount Vernon. Movies nights in Middletown, and Drag-Queen Story Hour in Darien. A Pride Color Run in Pound Ridge, and a Drag Gospel Fest in Waterbury.
This February, local Pride organizers from across Connecticut and New York convened for the second annual Pride Coalition Conference held at the Greenwich Hyatt. The goal was to discuss the ways in which local leaders could work with one another to create safe, fun, and inclusive Pride celebrations for all. Adrian Shanker, Senior Advisor on LGBTQI+ Health Equity Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health, was the keynote speaker.
We talked about logistics like event setups and insurance , to security issues like working with local law enforcement and city or municipal governments to provide a safe and welcoming environment for all attendees. There was even a “PRIDE Toolkit” panel that included guest speakers such as Bill Pierz of Shoff Darby Insurance Agency, Jenn McMurrer of the Norwalk Common Council, Edson Rivas from Triangle Community Center, Judy Troilo from The LOFT: LGBTQ Community Center, Rachel Simon from Lewisboro Celebrates Pride and Hillary Desmond from Easton Pride. Closing Remarks were provided by Anthony Crisci from Circle Care Center.
Part of the reason the Leonard Litz LGBTQ+ Foundation chose to co-sponsor this Pride Coalition in conjunction with Circle Care Center was to help connect queer people and our allies to all the amazing events happening right in their own communities—we don’t have to go to cities like Boston or New York to find welcoming spaces to be ourselves.
We all see what’s happening in parts of the country, and the world. Now is the time for us to get out and do something right where we live. And to have a fabulous time doing it!
If you’re looking for a way to celebrate in greater Westchester County and Connecticut, you don’t have to look far. Pride begins at home.
Many of us have spent too much of our lives learning how to love ourselves in the face of constant messaging to the contrary. It’s the greatest thrill to be surrounded by an outpouring of love, unity, celebration, and, of course, pride.
Welcome to the Best Pride Ever!