This is a blog by Melissa Santosa.
June is Pride month in many cities and countries, a time to recognize, honor, and celebrate the LGBTQIA+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual and more) community and their contributions to the world’s rich tapestry. On June 28 1969, police officers raided and attempted to shut down the Stonewall Inn in New York City, a popular gay bar in the 1960’s. The first Pride march was an uprising at Stonewall against years of police harassment. It was led by LGBTQIA+ activists of color such as Marsha P. Johnson, Sylvia Rivera, Storme DeLarverie, and Miss Major Griffin-Gracy.
The ongoing global pandemic that began in 2020 has taken a toll on everyone, and the LGBTQIA+ community has been especially hard hit. With rising unemployment, the high cost of housing, and loss of social support, many LGBTQIA+ folks have been displaced from the Bay Area and have moved home to their families of origin who may not be supportive of their gender identity and sexual orientation. Bars, clubs, and centers have closed their doors permanently, such as The Stud in San Francisco. In 2021, several state legislatures introduced bills to exclude transgender youth from athletics and to prohibit healthcare for transgender youth.
Despite these ongoing challenges, there are many community centers in the Bay Area that remain open and able to meet the specific needs of the LGBTQIA+ community. See our resource list below for mental health services, gender affirming healthcare, food, recovery groups, youth services, and support groups.
At AC Library, we celebrate both our LGBTQIA+ staff and community, and the struggle to preserve LGBTQ rights is important to us. We stand in agreement with the American Library Association’s statement affirming the rights of transgender people.
Pride Events at AC Library
Albany Film Fest Presents...LGBT Pride Short Films and Filmmaker Q&A
Friday, June 11, 1–2:30 pm
Little Learners PRIDE Storytime
Thursday, June 17, 10–10:30 am
¡Cuentos! - Rainbow Family Bilingual Storytime
Sunday, June 20, 1–1:30 pm
Inhabiting Joy: A Conversation on LGBTQ+ Creativity and Resilience
Thursday, June 24, 4:30–6 pm
How to Celebrate LGBTQIA+ Pride!
- San Francisco Pride enjoy Pride Movie Night at Oracle Park June 11–12.
- Show your Pride with apparel from local artists like Show & Tell Concept Shop.
- Take an online exercise class at Radically Fit Oakland whose mission is “to serve the LGBTQ/POC community by offering an inclusive, body positive, safe space for anyone to workout and build strong relationships.”
- Support equity and inclusion in education for LGBTQIA+ students by donating to GLSEN.
- Sing your favorite song on karaoke night at the The White Horse Bar the oldest continuously operating gay and lesbian bar in the United States.
Stonewall: Ground Zero for LGBTQIA+ Pride
This collection tells the proud history of LGBTQIA+ activism in New York City, sparked in 1969 by a police raid on the now-famous Stonewall Inn.
View Full List
Here is a list of centers that offer mental health services, gender affirming healthcare, food, recovery groups, youth services, and support groups.
- Oakland LGBTQ Community Center located in Oakland, this center has medical services through the Glenn Burke Wellness Clinic and virtual support groups.
- East Bay Queer Arts Center located in Oakland, offers a variety of services such as grab-and-go free meals, QTBIPOC Alcoholics Anonymous, Black Trans Women’s support groups, and virtual dance workshops.
- Pacific Center located in Berkeley, offers counseling and psychotherapy, peer support groups, grief groups, 12 Step Meetings, and HIV services.
- Our Space located in Alameda County, serves youth ages 13-24 years old, and offers a clothing closet, food pantry, mental health services, paid leadership opportunities, peer support, and intergenerational community building.
PFLAG Book List
These books and .pdf links are recommended by members of PFLAG Oakland-East Bay, the local chapter of the national PFLAG organization. PFLAG is the first and largest organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) people, their parents and families, and allies. Learn more: pflag.org or https://pflag.org/find-a-chapter or www.pflag-eastbay.org.
How else can you get involved, this month and year-round?
- Learn more about local queer history. How about a walking tour through the Castro?
- Participate in, volunteer for, or donate to LGBT groups like Gender Spectrum, PFLAG Oakland-East Bay, and Our Family Coalition.
- Read books that have been nominated for or won Stonewall Book Awards Listen to LGBT artists whose music is infused with Pride.
- Watch TV programs and films that feature LGBT characters and themes.
- Recognize other events throughout the year that focus on queer acceptance, such as International Transgender Day of Visibility (March 31) and National Coming Out Day (October 11).