Rhode Island Pride Refocus to Support Black Lives Matter

The group is using its platform and events to give voices to people of color and support the fight for equality. 

June is LGBTQIA+ Pride Month, and the COVID-19 pandemic is not stopping the community from celebrating all forms of love. Instead of in-person celebrations and parades, virtual pride is allowing Rhode Island residents to experience history, culture and community from the comfort and safety of their own homes.

Since the death of George Floyd on May 25, Rhode Island Pride has refocused to include and support the Black Lives Matter movement, using its platform and events to give voices to people of color and support the fight for equality.

On Saturday, June 20, from 4:30-7:30 p.m. there will be a “Resistance and Resilience Rally for QTPOC.” The rally will march the same route as the first pride in Rhode Island in 1976. It will begin at Cathedral Square and go to the State House as well. All attendees are asked to wear a mask.

According to Pride RI, “The Stonewall uprising and ensuing riots were a tipping point for queer folks to band together to strategically fight for our rights and freedoms on a scale never before seen in our community. Drag queens, trans siblings, sex workers and butch lesbians started the fight for our freedoms and now it’s our responsibility to pick up the traditions of change and help our Black and Trans siblings in our combined fight for equality.”

Earlier this week, RI Pride held a virtual Pride Flag raising event streaming speakers and performers from Providence, Cranston, Warwick, Pawtucket, East Providence, Woonsocket, Newport, Central Falls and Barrington.

In the meantime, please support some of our LGBTQ+-owned businesses. If you want to be added to the list, just leave a comment on the bottom.

Frisky Fries, 751 Hartford Ave., Johnston, 401-919-5489, friskiefries.com

Friskie Fries offers a variety of french fry options of people of “all sizes, colors, cultures, genders, beliefs, religions, ages and types.” Constructing the craziest of ingredient combinations, Friskie Fries is sure to make anyone smile with menu items such as the “sin-fully sweet” fries with cinnamon sugar and whipped cream or the “dirty daug” fries made with NY System wiener bits, meat sauce, onion, mustard and celery salt.

Rhode Island Spirits, 59 Blackstone Ave., Pawtucket, 401-856-4111, rhodeislandspirits.com

“Yup, we’re married and we work together.” Rhode Island Spirits owners Kara and Cathy started the company to “do something they love together,” and since then have become New England’s only LGBT-owned spirits brand. In addition to creating a welcoming and accepting brand and space, Rhode Island Spirits is dedicated to giving back and creating opportunities to work with activist organizations, businesses and “out and proud” political candidates. Check out some of their most popular, organic and gluten-free products such as Rhodium Vodka, Foragers’ Gin and Coffee and Black Walnut Vodka.

The Dark Lady, 19 Snow St., Providence, 401-272-6369, Facebook.com

The Dark Lady is an LGBTQ night club where guests can enjoy drag shows, retro dances, go-go dancers and karaoke. The club has reopened with COVID-19 restrictions, allowing for outdoor seating. Open Saturdays 6-11 p.m. and Sundays 2-8 p.m., they are asking that all guests wear masks. 

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