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Baltimore Pride transcending generations

Van Hollen, Mary Washington to serve as grand marshals



Mary Washington, gay news, Washington Blade, Baltimore Pride

Del. Mary Washington will serve as one of Baltimore Pride’s grand marshals.
(Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

As has been the case the past few Baltimore Pride celebrations, a safe space for LGBTQ youth ages 14 to 20 has been set aside during the block party. Youth Pride will be operational on Saturday, June 17 from 4-8:30 p.m. in its very own Youth Pride Zone within the Pride block party footprint.

Youth Pride, says Mimi Demissew, Pride co-chair, the alcohol-free area will be sectioned off with its own stage, performers and vendors.

In addition, this year will mark the first time in which Baltimore’s LGBT older adults will meet, share memories and make new connections at Elder Pride for those who attend the festival at Druid Hill Park on June 18.

In partnership with the GLBT Community Center of Baltimore and Central Maryland (GLCCB), the inaugural Elder Pride tent will be hosted by the LGBT Health Resource Center of Chase Brexton Health Care from 12-6 p.m. Participants will have the opportunity to identify and locate themselves along a historical LGBT timeline, and add their initials along the timeline for the year that they came out.

Elders will also be able to take a photograph honoring the number of years that they have been out, for inclusion in a photo collection. Community resources and advocacy will be available, and participants may sign up for the CareAct, which empowers elders in medical environments.

“So much of the equality that younger queer people enjoy has come from the head work, heart work, and hard work of our LGBT elders,” said Nate Sweeney, executive director of the LGBT Health Resource Center. “That is not to say that we do not still have much work to do, and new battles to fight, but it has to be done with the acknowledgment of hearts and minds that our elders have impacted.”

To help improve access to the festival, Action in Maturity’s Elder Express will shuttle individuals from Chase Brexton’s Mt. Vernon Center at 1111 N. Charles Street to Druid Hill Park and back.

For more information about Elder Pride, contact the LGBT Health Resource Center at [email protected]; 410-837-2050 ext. 1049.

In other Pride news, the 2017 parade grand marshals have been announced. U.S. Sen. Chris Van Hollen and Baltimore Del. Mary Washington will serve in that capacity.



Prince George’s County library system launches banned book club

First discussion to take place in Hyattsville on June 14



(Bigstock photo)

The Prince George’s County Memorial Library System has launched its Rock Banned Book Club.

The club will feature monthly discussions of the 13 top banned books from 2022, most of which focus on LGBTQ-specific themes. 

The club’s first discussion, which will take place at the Hyattsville Branch Library on June 14, will be on “Gender Queer: A Memoir” by Maia Kobabe. 

Kobabe’s memoir won the 2020 American Library Association Alex Award and recounts Kobabe’s exploration of gender identity and sexuality through adolescence and adulthood. According to the American Library Association, the book faced the most censorship challenges of any novel at 151.

“We’re seeing nationally the highest rate of challenges to books in libraries since the data has been collected by the American Library Association,” Nicholas Brown, acting co-chief executive officer of the library, said. “I think what happens with all of the discourse around book banning is that, oftentimes, not everyone participating in that discourse is actually taking the time to read the full works and discuss them and understand where the author might be coming from and whose stories are being reflected in these books.”

Along with the book club, the library system is hosting a Pride celebration at the Hyattsville branch on Saturday from 12 – 4 p.m. It will feature a panel discussion, vogue and runway workshops, free HIV testing and more. 

The library system will host its second annual Rainbow Festival on June 24 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Bowie Branch Library with family-friendly events like craft stations, story time and a live DJ. In April, the library system won a Top Innovator Award from the Urban Libraries Council for its banned books campaign.

“I think a lot of folks don’t always realize that your local public library is kind of the front line of democracy and we always have been,” Brown said. “Public libraries across the country are very united on this and if the right to read continues to be under threat like it’s been, it is not a good time for the state of our democracy.”

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District of Columbia

Bowser: No credible threats to D.C. Pride events

Mayor spoke with the Blade after flag-raising ceremony at the Wilson Building



D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser at the flag-raising of the Progress Pride flag at the Wilson Building in D.C. on June 1, 2023. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser on Thursday said authorities have not received any credible threats to upcoming Pride events.

“We don’t have any to report,” she told the Washington Blade.

“MPD is constantly working with all of our agencies to make sure we have safe special events and we’re going to keep going with our planning, like we do every year,” added Bowser. “There’s always a scan for any threats to the District.”

Bowser spoke with the Blade after she joined D.C. Council Chair Phil Mendelson, Council members Anita Bonds, Charles Allen, Kenyon McDuffie and Zachary Parker, D.C. Attorney General Brian Schwalb, D.C. Mayor’s LGBTQ Affairs Office Director Japer Bowles and other officials and activists in raising the Progress Pride flag in front of the Wilson Building.

The Blade last month reported D.C. police are investigating a bomb threat a Twitter user made against the annual District Pride concert that will take place at the Lincoln Theater on June 29. Bowles in a May 19 statement said his office reported the tweet, but further stressed that “no credible threat at this time has been made.”

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Moore issues Pride month proclamation

Governor on May 3 signed Trans Health Equity Act



Maryland Gov. Wes Moore (Public domain photo/Twitter)

Maryland Gov. Wes Moore on Thursday proclaimed June as Pride month in recognition of  “the contributions, resilience, courage and joy of LGBTQIA+ Marylanders,” according to a press release.

“In Maryland, we lead with love and inclusion. I want everyone in our LGBTQIA+ community to know that they deserve to be seen for who they are, and our administration will stand with them in the fight for equality and equity,” Moore said. “We need to elevate the stories, embrace the courage, and celebrate the humanity of our LGBTQIA+ community — and as long as I am governor, we will take the steps forward to protect and celebrate all Marylanders.”

Moore on March 31 became the first governor in Maryland history to recognize the Transgender Day of Visibility and last month he signed into law the Trans Health Equity Act into law, which requires Maryland Medicaid to provide coverage for gender-affirming care beginning next year.

“This month is a celebration of the beauty and uniqueness of the queer community, but it’s also a time to reaffirm our commitment to uplifting LGBTQIA+ Marylanders and continuing to fight against hatred, discrimination, and bigotry,” Lt. Gov. Aruna Miller said in the same press release that Moore’s office released. “LGBTQIA+ Marylanders deserve to be who they are, to live their pride — without fear or having to hide. This administration will always stand alongside and protect the rights of all Marylanders.”

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