By Laurie Paolicelli
The uprising at the Stonewall Inn in June, 1969, sparked a liberation movement — a call to action that continues to inspire us to live up to our nation’s promise of equality, liberty, and justice for all.
Pride is both a jubilant communal celebration of visibility and a personal celebration of self-worth and dignity. This Pride Month, leaders throughout Orange County recognize the valuable contributions of LGBTQ+ individuals across North Carolina and America, and at the Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau we join them in reaffirming our commitment to standing in solidarity with LGBTQ+ by welcoming ALL visitors to our communities.
The LGBTQ+ community in America has achieved remarkable progress since Stonewall. Historic Supreme Court rulings in recent years have struck down regressive laws, affirmed the right to marriage equality, and secured workplace protections for LGBTQ+ individuals in every State and Territory.
Members of the LGBTQ+ community now serve in nearly every level of public office — in city halls and State capitals, Governors’ mansions and the halls of the Congress.
In Orange County, we are proud of our long history of electing LGBTQ+ to local city councils in Carrboro, Chapel Hill and Hillsborough.
During LGBTQ+ Pride Month, we recognize the resilience and determination of the many individuals who are fighting to live freely and authentically. In doing so, they are opening hearts and minds, and laying the foundation for a more just and equitable world.
In Chapel Hill, Carrboro and throughout Orange County, June 2022 is proclaimed Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Pride Month.
Below is a list of celebrations planned. We hope you will join our communities in celebrating a more equitable world.
Small Town Pride in Carrboro and Chapel Hill
Small Town Pride is a way of involving the entire community in promoting equality and celebrating diversity and acceptance. The towns of Carrboro and Chapel Hill involve local businesses, artists, volunteers, and community partners. Everyone is welcome! Check out all the events coming up!
Chapel Hill Pride Promenade
Chapel Hill is presenting the first Chapel Hill Pride! Promenade on June 4th, 2022, from 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm, to kick off Chapel Hill-Carrboro Small Town Pride.
For Chapel Hill Pride! Promenade, meet at Peace and Justice Plaza, 179 East Franklin Street, Chapel Hill. Strut alongside performers and other revelers in celebration of the LGBTQ+ community to 140 West Franklin Plaza for a social gathering with music activities.
Some of what’s going on:
Music from DJ Savon
Interactive art from Kelly Schrader
Performance by Triangle Gay Men’s Choir
Poets Open Mic Night
This is a virtual event on Tuesday, June 7th, 2022, from 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm. It takes place on Zoom. Celebrate LGBTQ Pride through your poetry with other local poets. This event encourages the writing, reading, and listening of poetry. Hosted by Carrboro Recreation, Parks and Cultural Resources Department. Join the zoom event.
Drag Story Times
Saturdays, June 11th, 18th, and 25th, 2022, from 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm, at various locations. Drag Story Times celebrate glamour, imagination, play, and gender fluidity while providing positive queer role models. Bring your kids to enjoy a fabulous hour of story time by some of the most prominent Drag royalty in the Triangle!
Orgullo LatinX Pride
On Saturday, June 11th, 2022, from 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm, on Carrboro Town Commons, 301 West Main Street, Carrboro. Celebrate Latinx Pride! with local food trucks, a drag show, a DJ, and games for the kids. Organizers from El Centro Hispano aim to create an event that fosters unity, inclusivity, and empowerment by showcasing our community’s talents while providing social, healthcare, and advocacy resources, and family fun.
Pride Piper Walk
Friday, June 24th, 2022, 4:30 pm, at Carrboro Century Center. Join local officials and the Bulltown Strutters, to help roll “Rainbow Ram” down Weaver Street from the Century Center, 100 North Greensboro Street, Carrboro, to Town Commons for the Pride Food Truck Rodeo & Dance Party.
Pride Food Truck Rodeo & Dance Party
On Friday, June 24th, 2022, from 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm, there will be a Pride Food Truck Rodeo and Dance Party at Carrboro Town Commons.
June is going to be a great month of recognition and celebration, but let’s not let it stop there. We should be proud of who we are and all of our beautiful differences every day of the year. Years ago, when North Carolina politicians decided to build a state zoo, former Senator Jesse Helms questioned the expenditure, and asked, “Couldn’t we just build a fence around Chapel Hill?”
The fence wasn’t to capture and contain the progressive individuals changing the face of North Carolina, it was to keep their ideas, hopes, and dreams from spreading to other communities. But the strength and determination of our community of leaders and change agents are making a real difference, and will not be stopped. A fence would never have been enough.
Laurie Paolicelli is the Executive Director of the Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau.