Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning, Intersex, Asexual (LGBTQIA+) Pride Month is celebrated nationally and locally each year in June. The Towns of Carrboro and Chapel Hill are collaborating to host Small Town Pride, a joint celebration featuring events, art installations, online resources, and other opportunities to celebrate the Pride community. Through Small Town Pride, we aim to affirm community values ensuring that all residents, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, are treated with respect and dignity.
The origins of Pride stem from the Stonewall Riots that occurred in June of 1969, when attendees of the Stonewall Inn in NYC clashed with anti-LGBTQ police. Marches and protests popped up in some major US cities in June of the following year to commemorate the event, and the tradition has continued.
Together with Carrboro, the Town of Chapel Hill’s LGBTQ+ Employee Resource Group (ERG) has been instrumental in planning Small Town Pride. “Pride has always been really important to us as a time of celebration, reflection, and action,” says Samantha Slayer, a member of Chapel Hill’s LGBTQ+ ERG. “It’s exciting to have the towns of Chapel Hill and Carrboro both supporting us in growing this event, and to see the community’s passion for it. It’s especially encouraging at this time when queer rights are so under threat. We’re really looking forward to celebrating our identities and our community this year.”
Celebrations will happen the entire month of June and will recognize local LGBTQ+ leaders, artists, and activists, and highlight history, resources, and businesses. More information is available at chapelhillarts.org/smalltownpride.
Participate in one of the many events happening this month:
- Chapel Hill Pride! Promenade | Saturday, June 4 from 2-4 p.m. (downtown Chapel Hill)
Gather at Peace and Justice Plaza (179 E. Franklin Street) and strut alongside performers and other revelers in celebration of the LGBTQ+ community to 140 West Franklin Plaza for a social gathering with music and activities.
- Poets Open Mic Night | Tuesday, June 7 from 7-9 p.m. (via 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 here.
- Drag Story Times | Saturdays, June 11, 18, and 25 from 3-4 p.m. (locations vary)
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 | Saturday, June 11 from 5-9 p.m. (Carrboro Town Commons)
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 24 at 4:30 p.m. (Carrboro Century Center)
Join local officials and the Bulltown Strutters, to help roll “Rainbow Ram” down Weaver Street from the Century Center to Town Commons for the Pride Food Truck Rodeo & Dance Party.
- Pride Food Truck Rodeo & Dance Party | Friday, June 24 from 5-8 p.m. (Carrboro Town Commons)
Join for food, dance, and frolicking on the lawn. If you’re interested in participating as a vendor or by setting up a table, fill out the application form here.
Chapel Hill-Carrboro Small Town Pride hopes to promote the equality of the LGBTQIA+ communities, as well as increase visibility, challenge anti-LGBTQ legislation, and bring awareness to other LGBTQ issues. Progress for true equality requires the support of everyone, including straight allies who know that support for LGBTQ+ people strengthens the entire community. To learn more about Small Town Pride and engage with the celebration, visit chapelhillarts.org/smalltownpride.