June is LGBTQ+ Pride month. Rainbows and the hashtags #Pride and #Pridemonth are trending across big brands and small local businesses. Businesses are taking the opportunity to express their support for their LGBTQ+ employees and promote an inclusive work environment. Others are celebrating with their customers with special products, events, or sponsorships. Connecticut’s Office of Tourism set up a page for this year’s Pride Celebrations.
Kicking off the month, OutCT held their Born This Way Fashion Show in May at Ocean Beach, a fundraiser supporting their youth program. Hundreds attended the Paris-themed evening at Port and Starboard and the group enjoyed strong support from many local business and nonprofit sponsors. Foxwoods Resort Casino included Kinky Boots in their Broadway Series May 31-June 2. Mystic Pride Week celebrated with events at local restaurants, kicking off at Chapter One, and including, a waterfront excursion called Paddle with Pride.
In upcoming events, M/Bar in Mystic is hosting “A Bridge to Awareness” on June 18, an evening of food, drinks and music with a live fashion show, with a portion of proceeds going to OutCT. The event will be catered by A Thyme to Cook.
The Connecticut Sun’s Pride Night on July 12 begins with a game against the Phoenix Mercury and features numerous members of the LGBTQ+ community for an amazing celebration of equality. The game is followed by a panel of local celebrities and Connecticut Sun players discussing LGBTQ+ issues.
New London Pride Festival will be held on August 24 at Ocean Beach Park. Workshops, live entertainment, youth programs, and demonstrations are topped off with rainbow sprinkles at the Boardwalk Creamery. The event enjoys the sponsorship of some of the Chamber’s benefactors and members.