PHOENIX — All throughout June, it’s likely you’ll see pride across the Valley.
The active Phoenix-area sports franchises all have a scheduled pride nights, various businesses will show their support with a pride flag and events and in academic circles, workshops and seminars are slated to bring in experts to discuss culture, share stories and explain how the LGBTQ+ community is still marginalized.
On the first day of June, Phoenix College didn’t waste any time hosting an educational equity workshop on what LGBTQ+ students want from their academic superiors.
“They want the same thing that every student wants,” said Michelle Cunneen.
Cunneen is the social justice coordinator at Phoenix College and the rainbow spectrum advisor.
She says it’s not uncommon for families of LGBTQ+ students to not be supportive or for LGBTQ+ students to have safety concerns.
So she helps put them in touch with support resources like One-n-Ten.
”They want to feel valued, they want to feel safe, they want a learning environment that is welcoming and works for them,” said Cunneen. “There is still a lot of hate, there is still a lot of misunderstanding about our community and what it means to be queer or trans, acknowledging the flag is about learning our culture and honoring those experiences.”
Jeremy Helfgot with Phoenix Pride says at the heart of every pride event is the fight for equal rights.
”The LGBTQ+ community is perhaps the most intersectional of demographics, in that it crosses every line, every age group, every racial and ethic group, every country of origin, every faith,” said Helfgot.
Now because it would be unsafe to host any parade in Phoenix during June due to the Arizona heat, the Phoenix Pride Festival isn’t until October 15th and 16th at Steele Indian School Park. For the first time this year, Phoenix Pride will host the first ever MX Pageant at the Tempe Center for the Arts on June 12th.
“We’ve traditionally had our Mr. and Mrs. Phoenix Pride royalty; we are adding a new category for those who might not identify in a traditional binary gender or not have gender be a factor in the competition,” said Helfgot.
Cities around Arizona will still be hosting pride events in June:
- Bisbee Pride is June 17-19th
- Flagstaff Pride in the Pines is June 18th
- Navajo Nation Pride in Window Rock, Arizona is June 20th – 26th.
Phoenix-area sports pride events:
- Phoenix Rising will host a pride night at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 4th
- Phoenix Mercury Pride Night is at 7 p.m. on Friday June 10. The first 5,000 fans receive a pride flag.
- The Diamondbacks will host pride night later this month on June 25th for a 5:10 p.m. first pitch. The first 15,000 fans receive a D-Backs Pride Tee.