June 2023 LGBTQ+ Pride Month celebrations

Published: May 23, 2023 Author: Staff reports

The Southeastern Ohio Rainbow Alliance (SEORA), the Ohio University LGBT Center, the Athens community, and people in the southeastern Ohio region will celebrate LGBTQ+ Pride Month this June with in-person and virtual events.

“Athens has a large transgender and queer community and a significant LGBTQ+ arts, culture, and drag performance scene. Pride in the Athens community provides opportunities for everyone to join in the celebration of queer and trans culture, resilience, and joy,” said Sarah Doherty, the LGBT Center’s assistant director.

“Thanks to collaborations across groups, community members will find a wide range of social and educational activities to enjoy as they commemorate Pride Month,” said LGBT Center Director Micah McCarey.

Summer 2023 Pride Month celebrations will kick-off with an opening reception for “i want to reach you,” a queer art exhibition at Majestic Galleries, 20 Public Square, in Nelsonville. The exhibit, curated by Ohio University MFA candidates and Majestic Galleries members Jacq Garcia and Selena Loomis, will be open May 26-June 25. The opening reception will be held Friday, May 26, from 5-8 p.m. The exhibit showcases 12 regionally based artists exploring contemporary queer life. Artworks by Carmelo Amenta, Darian Knapp, Emma Loomis-Amrhein, Felicity Gunn, Jaquelee Chit Yu Chau, Michelle Eisen, Nico Fuentes, Ray Perez, Sarah Doherty, Shockley Traub, Terra Talamh, and Veronica Leto will be on view.  

Of particular interest to those seeking information on transgender support topics, the LGBT Center will host a series of free virtual lunch-and-learn workshops on Wednesdays in June, and on July 12 and 19, from 12:10 - 1 p.m. These online events will provide opportunities for people to learn about diversity, equity, and inclusion matters impacting transgender and nonbinary people with the aim of making Athens as welcoming and affirming as possible. Those interested in attending are invited to register online at this website.  

Sunday, June 11, will feature three Pride-themed events, beginning with an Appalachian Pride Heritage Walking Tour led by Mickey J. Hart in partnership with Appalachian Understories, the LGBT Center, United Campus Ministry Center, and SEORA, who will host. The route is one mile long, starting at United Campus Ministries and moving through campus and part of uptown Athens. There will be a support car for accessibility. Tour participation costs are $15 for Athens County residents, $20 for the general public, and $5 for children and can be purchased online at Eventbrite. Ticket purchase will be available on the day of the tour. Rides from the end of the tour to Richland Park will be available at the end of the tour for anyone interested in attending a Family Field Day hosted by SEORA from noon until 2 p.m. The day will end with free admission to a Pride pool party hosted by the LGBT Center and SEORA from 8 – 10 p.m. at the Athens City Pool.

Southeastern Ohio Rainbow Alliance to host additional events

SEORA will host LGBTQ+ Pride festivities from June 8 through 11, including but not limited to the following events:

  • Thursday, June 8: LGBTQ+ Trivia Night at Athens Uncorked at 7:30 p.m. Reservations are encouraged.  
  • Friday, June 9, Happy Hour at Athens Uncorked at 5:30 p.m. Adults only, 21+.
  • Saturday, June 10: Pride Parade starting at 10:00 a.m. Participants line up at 8:30 a.m. outside Alden Library’s second floor entrance nearest Baker Center on Park Place. The parade route goes up Court Street, turns right at Washington Street and ends near the College Green, where there will be tables with nonprofits and vendors. Members of Ohio University LGBTQ+ and ally community who wish to join the LGBT Center’s parade group should contact Sarah Doherty at doherty@ohio.edu . Other individuals and groups can sign up for parade participation and/or tabling through SEORA’s signup sheet at a cost of $25.  
  • Saturday, June 10: Athens Pride Drag Show with SEORA and Kazma Knights at The Eclipse Company Store at 8 p.m. featuring a lineup of fabulous entertainers, including OHIO student and professional drag artist Rayley Saphron. The event will also feature performances by Kazma Knights, Crylee Chimera, Miss Lady Dior, Fre Ak, Mystique Monroe, Sue Purr Nova, Sabrina Caprice Heartt, Fyre Storm, Evelyn Everything, and Rayley Saphron. Doors open at 7 p.m. and admission fees are $10 per guest. All ages are welcome.