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How To Celebrate Pride In Louisville This Year

Parade participants walk down Preston Street toward the Big Four Lawn on Friday, June 15.
Parade participants walk down Preston Street toward the Big Four Lawn on Friday, June 15.

The Kentuckiana Pride Festival may have beenpostponed from June to October this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but there are still plenty of ways to celebrate Pride Month in Louisville.

Just a few weeks ago, Louisville Pride Foundation Executive Director Mike Slaton was unsure if there would be much happening for Pride, at least in person. 

“I don't think there was pretty much anything on the schedule, and now things are really popping up a lot,” he said. 

Things that popped up on the calendar recently include an event to launch a new Pride-inspired beer, drag storytime and the Louisville VA’s annual pride fest.

Excited about celebrating this month face-to-face with others, Slaton hopes organizers of Pride events will also take some time to reflect on lessons learned from 2020.

“There [are] a lot of people that can't make it to in-person events, either because of a physical reason or a lot of times they're in the closet or they're in an unsupportive environment,” Slaton said. “So we've been able to reach new people online.”

And while “coming together and celebrating during Pride” is important and a big part of what it’s all about, Slaton believes it’s also critical to note that there’s still a lot of work to be done.  

“There is a lot of racism and discrimination within the LGBTQ community that we need to address, and we need to address it when it's not in the headlines,” he said. 

“We also need to be supportive of the transgender and gender non-conforming people in our community, who are the target of really cruel and malicious attacks across the country,” he continued, pointing toward the slew of bills introduced in state general assemblies across the country that would limit transgender kids’ participation in sports.

Louisville Pride Foundation typically holds its Pride festival in September and Slaton hopes it can make a return this year after skipping 2020 thanks to COVID.

Here’s A List Of Pride Events In Louisville This Month

Dorothy’s Riot Beer Release:

Mile Wide Beer Company hosts several events Friday to celebrate Pride. That includes the release of a new beer called Dorothy’s Riot, brewed in partnership with Queer Kentucky.  

“We’re so happy to partner with Mile Wide on this event,” Spencer Jenkins, founder & executive director of Queer Kentucky, said in a press release. “Due to COVID, Pride last year AND this year have been so weird. We’re just grateful that Mile Wide is holding space for the LGBTQ+ community during Pride month.”

During the day, MWBC will also host the following events at their taproom in Louisville. 

  • Volunteers of America will provide confidential HIV testing at no charge.
  • A vaccination clinic with the help of Louisville Public Health from 7 - 9 p.m.
  • A drag show hosted by Zsa Zsa Gabortion, featuring performers Kitty St Vincent, Beverly Hellz, Scarlett Valentine, Bang Bang and Spectra Cosmos, starting at 7 p.m.
  • A silent disco starting at 9 p.m.
  • More information here.

Drag Queen Storytime-Kentucky’s PRIDE Reading:

You can dine at Cafe 360 off of Bardstown Road on June 8 while enjoying a reading and “mini drag show” from Drag Queen Storytime-Kentucky.

  • June 8 at 6 p.m.
  • Information on tickets here.

Celebrate Pride By Getting Vaccinated Against COVID-19

Louisville Pride Foundation and the Crane House have partnered up again to offer a vaccination clinic on June 12 from noon to 4 p.m. 

Louisville City Football Club Pride Night

The state’s professional soccer club will host Pride Night events this year. The details are currently scant, as indicated on Louisville City FC’s social media, but it’s already promoting its line of Pride-inspired gear in its shop. 

Not Ready For In-Person?

The Hudson Valley LGBTQ+ Community Center in New York and the TMI Project have partnered to present a virtual storytelling event called “Black Trans Stories Matter.”

  • Streams online June 12 at 7 p.m.

Robley Rex VA 6th Annual Pride Fest

The Robley Rex VA Medical Center in Louisville is celebrating the city’s LGBTQ+ community and veterans with its Pride  fest this month. The event will feature DJ J Lynn, a drumming circle, door prizes, health resources and speakers. Masks and social distancing are mandatory. 

  • June 25 from 1 - 2 p.m. More information here.