Celebrate Pride Month with Wake County Public Libraries

Wake County Public Libraries will recognize Pride Month in June with a special virtual program series exploring the LGBTQIA+ community and experience, both locally and historically. These free programs for adults are designed to inspire critical thinking and help continue the conversation on identity, equality and social justice.

“In Wake County, we celebrate the diversity of our community every day, and Pride Month provides an opportunity for us to deepen our commitment to those values,” said Wake County Commissioner Cheryl Stallings. “I encourage everyone to take advantage of the informative and inspirational programs offered by our libraries.”

Registration is required to receive a link to attend, and you must sign up for each event individually. Full details are below.

Secret Codes, Darkened Windows – Hidden History of Raleigh’s LGBTQIA+ Community
Thursday, June 1 | 7–8 p.m.
Decades ago, it was common for LGBTQIA+ spaces to be pushed to the edges of a city – many with darkened windows so no one could see inside. In some cases, secret codes were used to signal “this place is safe.” Today, you likely walk past some of those historically important places with no idea the significant role they played. To keep those stories from being lost, historian Heather Leah provides a virtual look at the sites, struggles and triumphs that built the 1970s, ‘80s and ‘90s foundation of Raleigh’s LGBTQIA+ community.

Drag HERstory
Monday, June 5 | 7–8 p.m.
Stormie Daie, local drag queen, and Kori Hennessey, director of Education and Programs at the LGBT Center of Raleigh, will join us to discuss the HERstory of drag and LGBTQIA+ in the U.S. and Raleigh. 

I Don’t Want to Say the Wrong Thing
Thursday, June 8 | 7–8 p.m.
Curious about LGBTQIA-affirming language? the differences between gender, sex at birth and sexual orientation, but worried about saying the wrong thing? Learn about the important terms and concepts, pronouns and the science and history of gender expression. Find out about common myths and what to do when you mess up, and hear about the personal experiences of a non-binary person.

LGBTQIA+ Students and the College Experience
Tuesday, June 13 | 6:30–7:30 p.m.
Getting ready for college can be overwhelming for both parents and students. What is it like for LGBTQIA+ students getting ready for college? Are you worried about housing/roommates/floor bathrooms, talking to professors about pronouns, safe spaces on campus or coming out while at college? Join us as we discuss these issues and more with a panel of LGBTQIA+ students and professionals from several North Carolina colleges.

LGBTQIA+ Voices: Books for Pride Month
Wednesday, June 14 | 6:30–7:30 p.m.
Pride Month is a time to celebrate and learn, and stories offer a fun, meaningful way to do both. Join librarians Jen and Melissa to discuss some of their favorite titles that uplift LGBTQIA+ voices and perspectives and shed light on the history of LGBTQIA+ communities. From memoirs to mysteries to romance, we'll have something for everyone.

Intersection of Faith, Religion & LGBTQIA+ Identity
Thursday, June 22 | 2:30–3:30 p.m.
Join us for a virtual panel discussion followed by a Q&A session. Our panelists include the Rev. Dr. Jennifer Copeland, executive director of the Council of Churches in Raleigh; the Rev. Ian McPherson from Pullen Memorial Baptist Church in Raleigh; the Rev. Kristen Tossell Pitts, chaplain and DEI director at Washington Episcopal School in Bethesda, Maryland; and the Rev. Vance E Haywood Jr. (“Pastor Vance”), senior pastor at St. John's Metropolitan Community Church in Raleigh.

Stronger Together: Coming of Age During the AIDS Crisis
Thursday, June 29 | 7–8 p.m.
Imagine being queer in Raleigh, in the 1980s, amidst a new and terrifying disease that no one talks about. Join historian Heather Leah as she shares anonymous interviews from those who recall coming of age in Raleigh during the AIDS crisis – uncovering the true terror, but also exploring how the LGBTQIA+ community pulled together to help each other and persevere through this dark time.

Librarians have also put together a Pride Guide, which provides resources for kids, teens, adults and parents. Learn more at guides.wake.gov/pride.

Press Release