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Wisdom Awards celebrate Black LGBTQ+ women Elders

Event honors community leaders

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Miss Major Griffin-Gracy among honorees. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) and AARP hosted the virtual Black Women Legendary Elders Wisdom Awards ceremony and virtual tea party in commemoration of National LGBTQ+ Elders Day on May 16. The event honored LGBTQ+ women leaders who have contributed meaningfully to their communities. Honorees included: Mandy Carter, Poor People’s Campaign activist and co-founder of NBJC, Southerners On New Ground, and Equality North Carolina. She is one of the first Black, openly gay/same gender loving elected members of the DNC; and national steering coordinator for the 1987 March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights.

Also honored was Bishop Yvette Flunder, presiding bishop of the largest Black LGBTQ+ clergy network, the Fellowship of Affirming Ministries and pastor of City of Refuge United Church of Christ. She is a Grammy Award-winning gospel artist and voice of Walter Hawkins’ well-loved song Thank You.

Rev. Elder Darlene Garner, co-founder of the earliest national Black LGBTQ+ organization, National Coalition of Black Lesbians and Gays (NCBLG) was honored as well. She is former vice moderator of Metropolitan Community Churches and pastor of several MCC churches.

Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, who co-led the Stonewall uprising was honored; she led the Transgender Gender Variant Intersex Justice Project; is a criminal justice and HIV/AIDS advocate; and is the focus of a documentary about her life called “Major!”

The final honoree was Dr. Beverly Guy-Sheftall, founder of Spelman College’s Women’s Research and Resource Center, leader of the first national study of LGBTQ+ inclusion and campus climate at HBCUs, trans-inclusive policies at single-sex HBCUs and founder of the first ever endowed Black Queer Studies program.

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Out & About

Get ready for Baltimore Pride

Events scheduled throughout weekend

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Baltimore Pride Parade (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

Baltimore Pride begins this weekend on Friday, June 14 in the heart of the city.

There will be a variety of events, the main ones being Mt. Vernon Pride on June 14 at 2 p.m. on the 200 Block of W. Read St., the Parade and Block Party on Saturday, June 15 at 3 p.m. on N. Charles St., and Pride in the Park on Sunday, June 15 at 3 p.m. at Druid Hill Park.

For more event details, visit Baltimore Pride’s website

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New film festival to spotlight LGBTQ docs

DC/DOX held in theaters throughout city

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DC/DOX, a new film festival in Washington D.C., began on Thursday, June 13 at E-Street Cinema, the U.S. Navy Memorial Burke Theatre and Eaton Cinema.

The festival is dedicated to promoting documentary as a leading art form and a series of documentaries on LGBTQ+ stories will premiere, including “Love That Dares Not,” “Sabbath Queen,” and “Familia.” 

For more information, visit DC/DOX’s website.

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Baltimore Museum to host Pride party

Ridin’ the Rails features RuPaul’s Queen of Flips

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The B&O Railroad Museum will host “Ridin the Rails: Pride Train & Party” on Friday, June 14 at 8:00p.m. in collaboration with the Pride Center of Maryland and Stonewall Sports.

This event will kick off Pride events in Baltimore.  This year’s Ridin’ the Rails features Season 16 Rupaul’s Drag Race Queen “The Queen of Flips” Mhi’ya Iman Le’Paige and local Baltimore queens, with meet-and-greets available. The party will be filled with music, food, and drinks under the stars surrounded by trains.

Tickets start at $28 and can be purchased on Eventbrite.

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