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This month, BriarPatch Food Co-op is throwing a community Pride event to raise awareness and celebrate the LGBTQ+ community.  

The event, called “Pride on the Patio” will take place from 1 to 3 p.m. Wednesday, June 29.  

“We want to show our values in action as an all-inclusive, loving space to be. It’s important to express our support for the simple idea that you should be able to love who you want. This is our first in-person event since the start of the pandemic, so it feels like an extra special celebration for our staff and neighbors,” said Marketing Director Rebecca Torpie.  

Local nonprofits and community groups such as Nevada County Pride, Bright Futures for Youth/ NEO and Community Beyond Violence will be on hand to share local resources at information tables. Nevada City’s very own local drag queen luminary and self-proclaimed hostess with the mostest, “Cloaca” will provide entertainment.  

“Cloaca” hosted the recent Sierra Stages production of Patty from HR and has appeared in “Drag Queen Bingo” at the National Exchange Hotel, “Sexy Sundays” at the Brick, Elixart’s “Variety Show” and “Drag Queen Trivia” at the Golden Era. 

BriarPatch employees will be handing out ice cream sammies from LGBTQ+ owned company, CoolHaus and other fun swag to the first 100 shoppers who arrive to the Pride festivities.  

BriarPatch has been celebrating Pride Month in a variety of ways like hanging Progress Pride Flags on the storefront facing the roundabout on Sierra College Drive and by providing shoppers the opportunity to buy products from LGBTQ+ brands.  

During June, the BriarPatch bakery is busy baking rainbow cookies to raise money for Bright Futures for Youth & NEO’s Rainbow Social group, an LGBTQIA+ group for youth and young adults.  

BriarPatch is donating a portion of proceeds from all LGBTQ+ brands sold in June to the Sacramento LGBT Community Center. The Community Center works to build a culturally rich LGBTQ+ community by advocating for equality and justice and by supporting the health and wellness of their community members. 

Every year in June, millions of people in the United State celebrate Pride Month, an event honoring LGBTQ+ identities and people and the progress that has been made in the U.S. for their acceptance and liberation. 

HOW DID IT START?  

Pride Month can be traced back to the 1969 Stonewall Riots, which took place in Greenwich Village, New York at a place called the Stonewall Inn.  

In the 1960s, police officers could legally arrest men for doing drag, women for not dressing femininely enough and anyone on the suspicion of being gay.  

On the night of June 28, police raided the Stonewall Inn, looking for people to harass and detain, until the onlooking crowd grew restless and angry enough to fight back, led by trans women and femmes of color, forcing police to retreat. Aggressive confrontations between police and LGBT people continued for several days. This event is cited as the turning point for the gay liberation movement.  

From there, LGBT activists like Marsha P. Johnson, Sylvia Rivera, Zazu Nova and Lani Ka’ahumanu held yearly marches in remembrance of the riots. The marches started in New York but quickly spread across the country to all major cities. The celebrations and accompanying events also spread away from the anniversary of Stonewall to include the full month, for the sake of visibility, awareness and increased action. 

WHAT ABOUT NOW?  

Now, Pride Month occurs every June to celebrate the progress that has been made in LGBTQ rights, as well as to acknowledge and honor those who gave their lives to fight for those rights. Celebrations today include parades, picnics and parties. And while Pride has now been widely adopted and recognized even by those outside the community, it is important to remember that the roots of the occasion lie in a collective refusal of oppression and the power of community. Pride is about liberation and inclusivity. 

Read more about Pride history in books such as The Gay Revolution by Lillian Faderman and The Stonewall Reader by Edmund White and the New York Public Library. 

Online articles can be found here:  

https://www.them.us/story/the-complete-history-of-pride

https://www.bustle.com/life/pride-month-origins-history

Learn more at https://briarpatch.coop/ and by following @briarpatchfoodcoop on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.