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@example.com; 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.