June is pride month and the LGBT Center of Raleigh is hard at work. Pride month is a time to celebrate and bolster the LGBT rights movement, as well as to increase visibility of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people as a social group. However, this year’s Pride is a bit different due to the pandemic and current political climate. But nonetheless, The LGBT Center of Raleigh is standing up for what they believe is right and showing their love in every way possible.
Director of Communications and Advancement, Shoshanna Caroll, says, “We are supporting trans and queer people of color as they protest for their rights in our city. We have been providing these marginalized people with water, and medical care throughout the heat. We have also partnered with medics to provide emergency care for those injured by rubber bullets and tear gas.” Furthermore, the LGBT Center is highlighting that Pride has always been about standing for human rights and demanding equality.
The LGBT Center of Raleigh was formed in 2008 and officially recognized as a nonprofit in 2009. Their mission is to serve, empower, and advocate for the well-being of our diverse LGBTQ+ communities. The Center offers over 30 programs a month, including support groups for families and loved ones of queer people, children’s programming and support, as well as community resourcing, advocacy, and celebration. Two of their most attended programs are SAGE, a program for queer seniors and trans youth programming for children from pre-k through high school and beyond.
Shoshanna explains, “In all, our work is anti-racist and anti-phobic. We know that our community faces extreme challenges in the South and it is our goal to provide friendship, chosen family support, and resources and advocacy to make North Carolina safer and inclusive for all of its residents.”
Due to Covid-19, the Center is currently closed to the public but is hosting events virtually through Zoom. However, you can still help the Raleigh LGBT community in numerous ways. First and foremost, through care and compassion. It’s important for allies to speak up in their churches, homes, and places of business to include and protect the lives of their queer friends and relatives. Another great way to support the LGBTQ+ community is to donate and/or volunteer.
Once The LGBT Center of Raleigh can open again, volunteers are always welcome to help in our Cyber Center, Library and during community drop-in hours. You can check out the center’s calendar of events here: https://www.lgbtcenterofraleigh.com/events.html
The LGBT Center of Raleigh looks forward to the day North Carolina, and the United States pass broad sweeping Equality Acts to ensure all citizens have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. To them, equality means they are included in their jobs, families, and country. Together, we can create a world where LGBTQ+ people are thriving, equal, and valued members of society.