The commonwealth, country and world are painted in rainbows every June, marking the start of Pride Month and an effort for LGBTQ+ people to be seen and heard in their identities.
But Pride encompasses more than the grandiose parades and large-scale parties and celebrations. Towns and communities across Massachusetts are recognizing and holding space for their own residents in different ways, in solidarity, collaboration and validation.
Here’s a look at the upcoming LGBTQ+ happenings this month in Greater Lowell and beyond.
Taffeta, a new music venue out of Western Avenue Studios, will be creating “all around queer vibes” on Trans Tuesday, an event featuring performances from local trans artists and a live DJ, on June 6 from 8-11 p.m. Portions of the proceeds will be donated to Trans Resistance MA, a nonprofit advocacy organization.
Food trucks will be stationed outside, and drinks will be served. Tickets are $15 online and $20 at the door.
For a thorough look at drag itself, the Pollard Memorial Library — in partnership with the Wilmington Memorial Library — is inviting Matthew Wittmann to cover the United States history of drag performances in a Zoom lecture June 8 from 7-8 p.m.
Wittmann, curator of the Harvard Theatre Collection, will utilize photographs and primary source materials from the Houghton Library at Harvard University. Registration for the virtual session is open on the library’s events page.
At the Lowell National Historical Park Visitor Center, literary scholar Heather Barrett and historian Resi Polixa will walk through local LGBTQ+ history, weaving in stories of the city’s immigrants and mill workers of years past. Interested parties can join the walk June 10 from 10-11:30 a.m.
And following Billerica’s recent proclamations in support of LGBTQ+ rights, Billerica Access Television is holding an art installation and reception at the historic Howe School at 390 Boston Road June 10 from 2-5 p.m. The mixed media art will honor and celebrate community pride and allyship, with remarks from guest speaker Kelly Jenkins at 3:30 p.m. and a film screening from Elliot Gale.
The party continues in Chelmsford, where residents can prepare “to dance, sing, cheer, and slay” at the Chelmsford Center for the Arts’ “Celebration! A Drag Show” June 10 from 7-9 p.m. In partnership with Chelmsford Community Services, the night of performances is only open to adults 21-plus — though will be “family-friendly” — and there will be a cash bar.
Tickets cost $20 for adults and $10 for seniors, and they can be purchased through the CCA’s website or by contacting the box office at 978-250-3780 or email@example.com.
Beforehand, the town will host a handful of free activities and resources for families at the Market on the Common from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Every June, Rainbow Merrimack Valley — formerly Rainbow Chelmsford — distributes rainbow flags to allies and members of the LGBTQ+ community by request through an online portal, as well as in person outside the CCA on Saturdays. Those interested can email firstname.lastname@example.org or access the contact form on the organization’s website, rainbowchelmsford.com.
For the education-seekers, SpeakOUT Boston — speakers who address discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community — are visiting the Chelmsford Public Library to teach attendees how to be allies for transgender people.
The event is part of the library’s Compelling Questions lecture series, which seeks to hold discussions around challenging topics with a current day impact.
SpeakOUT Boston encourages attendees to “Ask Us Anything” in an effort to combat misinformation and increase understanding. Registration is open on the library’s website for the event, which will be held June 21 from 6:30-8 p.m.
The Pride party kicks off June 16 with the Acton Pride Weekend! Drag Show Event. Drag performers will take the stage at the outdoor Thomas E. Tidman Amphitheater at NARA Park from 8-10 p.m.
Audience members should bring blankets and chairs, as well as their own food and drinks. Food and alcoholic beverages will be sold on the premises. Tickets for those 14-plus are $10 on Eventbrite and $15 at the gate.
Readers can find their next summer page-turner at the Parker Memorial Library’s Virtual LGBTQ+ Book Club, where attendees can discuss author Ashley Herring Blake’s “Delilah Green Doesn’t Care” and “Astrid Parker Doesn’t Fail” that may serve “as a springboard to discuss the challenges,” the event description states.
The book club is open to teens, adults and seniors who are interested in exploring books with LGBTQ+ themes alongside LGBTQ+ librarians. The Zoom runs June 26 from 7-8 p.m., and more information is posted on the library’s website.
NoWoCo Pride — a group representing LGBTQ+ residents and allies of North Worcester County — is organizing its first annual Pride Parade at Fitchburg City Hall July 22, starting at 2 p.m.
It’s just one of several events in the county this and next month continuing the Pride celebrations, which includes a Pride Paint Party at Main Street Studios June 18 from 1-3 p.m., a Gardner City Hall Lighting July 16 and NoWoCo Pride’s fifth anniversary gala July 19. Tickets to paid events can be purchased through NoWoCo’s website.
And for the pet lovers, NoWoCo is inviting furry friends to participate in a Paws Up for Pride at the Fitchburg Dog Park July 20 at 7 a.m. There will be vendors and a pet costume contest.