Area History for 2020's
Please note that this is a work in process. Contact us for corrections, additions and etc.
Dec 7 - GEAE and LGBT Funds Holiday Celebration The Greater Erie Alliance for Equality (GEAE) and the LGBTQ Funds of the Erie Community Foundation hosted an end-of-year reception at Room 33 in downtown Erie. This is the first time the two organizations have hosted a collaborative holiday event. See related article. See photos.
Dec 1 - World AIDS Day Program The Erie County HIV Task Force [ECHTF] presented this year’s World AIDS Day program at the H.O. Hirt Auditorium inside the Blasco Public Library at 160 East Front Street, Erie, PA 16507. Speakers included City of Erie Mayor Joe Schember, Erie County staff member Gary Snyder, Adagio Health staff member Andi Fair, Community Health Net staff member Kelly Kruize, and PA Thrive Partnership staff member Sonny Concepcion. Local news coverage was by Fox 66 News. In addition to speakers and video segments, one panel of the AIDS Memorial Quilt was on display, made possible by PA Thrive Partnership. See related article. See photos.
Dec - Erie Gay News celebrates 30th anniversary Erie Gay News (originally known as Erie Gay Community Newsletter) celebrated our 30th anniversary in December, 2022! Originally known as Erie Gay Community Newsletter, it was a project from Bridges, an LGBTQ coalition early 90's. After a dance/fundraiser held at the Unitarian-Universalist Congregation of Erie earlier in the year, the organization saw the need for a local LGBTQIA+-focused publication to inform the community about local events and resources, as well as the upcoming 1993 March on Washington. There had been an explosion of local groups in the early 90's. See related article.
Nov 26 - Transgiving by TransFamily of NW PA returns TransFamily of Northwestern Pennsylvania once again hosted the annual Transgiving at the Crime Victim Center on West 18th Street in Erie. The meal's a potluck style with members of the Transfamily board providing the turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy and dressing. Great conversations among new and old friends alike helped to make this event a great part of the holiday season. See related article. See photos.
Nov 20 - Transgender Day of Remembrance Vigil TransFamily of Northwestern Pennsylvania would like to thank everyone who gathered together at Journey to a Trauma-Informed Life or via Facebook Live for this year’s Transgender Day of Remembrance. TDOR is when we gather together to remember our Transgender siblings lost to anti-transgender violence. It is up to all of us to remember them, since their killers, law enforcement and media often seek to erase their existence. See related article. See photos.
Nov 15 - 20 - 2022 Lake Erie Gala Despite Mother Nature throwing a temper tantrum, it didn't detour 101 Transgender/Cross Dressing Ladies, their spouses, significant others, speakers, and vendors from attending the 23rd Annual Lake Erie Gala hosted by the Erie Sisters and Brothers at the Sheraton Erie Bayfront Property. See related article. See photos.
Nov 15 - LGBTQ Youth Town Hall Over 45 local Pennsylvanians — including young people, parents, and leaders from local and state LGBTQ organizations — gathered at the Erie Center for Arts and Technology as part of a town hall event focused on educating the community about ways that state policies impact LGBTQ young people in The Commonwealth. See related article. See photos.
Oct 29 - NW PA Pride Alliance in Meadville Halloween Parade NW PA Pride had an entry in the Meadville Halloween Parade. The parade had a theme this year of "Under the Big Top." The Meadville Halloween Parade is the largest nighttime parade in Pennsylvania. See related article. See photos.
Oct 28 - PennWest Edinboro Identity Halloqueen Dance PennWest Edinboro's LGBTQIA+ student group, held a delightful Halloqueen Dance in the Franklin G. Pogue Student Center. The event also included a costume contest, musical chairs, and pumpkin painting. See related article. See photos.
Oct 20 - LGBTQ History Month Reception at Governor's Residence Gov. Wolf hosted the PA Commission on LGBTQ Affairs and supporters for an LGBTQ History Month reception at the Governor's Residence in Harrisburg. Outgoing Executive Director Rafael Alvarez Febo and Chair Anne Wakabayashi thanked Governor Wolf and his administration for their groundbreaking support of the LGBTQ community. Pennsylvania was the first in the nation to have a state-level LGBTQ commission when Gov. Wolf signed the executive order in 2018. Since then, only two additional states (Washington and Massachusetts) have created similar bodies at the state level. See related article. See photos.
Oct 8 - Identity and NW PA Pride Alliance in PennWest Edinboro Homecoming Parade Members of Identity, the LGBTQIA+ student group at PennWest-Edinboro, walked in the annual Homecoming Parade. Board members from NW PA Pride Alliance also had a walking unit. See related article. See photos.
Oct 7 - 9 - 16th Annual Pink Party Weekend This year's Pink Party weekend was at The Zone Dance Club, 133 W 18th St. The benefit was a three night event with $4,135 going to Linked By Pink. See related article. See photos.
Aug 21 - 28 - Back To School True Style On Sunday, August 21, Macy’s at the Millcreek Mall hosted LGBTQ+ youth for a private shopping experience at the store. The youth had the red carpet rolled out for them. Each participant was gifted with swag bags and snacks while they enjoyed shopping and meeting new friends. NW PA Pride Alliance Inc., Greater Erie Alliance for Equality (GEAE), Transfamily of NW PA, and Erie Gay News teamed up Tuesday, August 23, for a school supply drive that was held at Community United Church on West 38th Street. All of the items that were collected will be given to Compton’s Table for distribution at their event. The Erie Art Museum served as the host Sunday, August 28, for the final back to school event hosted by Compton’s Table. Here over 70 youth were given the opportunity to pack totes and backpacks full of school supplies and clothing. They were also given the opportunity to rock fresh haircuts for the first day of school provided by Moxi Hair Salon of Erie and Reverie Salon of Fairview. See related article.
Aug 20 - 5th Annual TransFamily Picnic Erie's TransFamily of NWPA celebrated their 5th annual summer picnic. The picnic, held at the Glenwood Park, also served as a way to celebrate the ten years TransFamily has been working to support the transgender community of northwestern Pennsylvania, as well as those who are questioning, their loved ones, family members, and aliens. They work towards a greater understanding of people who are transgender though advocacy, education and community engagement. See related article. See photos.
Aug 19 - Miss Erie Pageant 2022 2022 Miss Erie Pageant crowned native Erie drag performer, Debbie. The 2022 Miss Erie Pageant welcomed contestants, Debbie, Snarebear, Tammy Joe Hammertoe, and Alysin Wonderland, and were judged by the distinguished panel of talent, Michelle Michaels, Molli Jane Norman, Moe Ferrara, Patrick Hiller and Justin Kelso. Sponsors for the event included Northwest PA Pride Alliance, Greater Erie Alliance for Equality (GEAE) and of course, The Zone Dance Club. See related article.
Aug 13 - 29th Annual Erie Pride Picnic Friends, Families and Supporters of Erie’s LGBTQIA Community concluded a day of fun at the Rotary Pavilion on Erie’s Presque Isle. Attendees contributed by bringing a dish to share which accompanied food and drinks provided by the Pride alliance. 200 attendees enjoyed fellowship and laughs amongst the parks many amenities See related article. See photos.
Jul 23 - Meadville Pride and Street Fair More than two hundred people gathered at Diamond Park for the opening ceremonies. The crowd was welcomed by Sphon and Meadville Mayor Jaime Kinder. Also addressing those gathered was Meadville resident Travis Smith, who along with NW PA board member Brett Staskiewicz and Mar Harkless, helped to locally coordinate the event. Following the speakers, there were drag performances by Rose Winters, Debbie and Alysin Wonderland. Attendees then paraded around Diamond Park concluding in the street fair of more than thirty crafters and information booths set up on Chestnut Street. The event was such a success the board hopes to be coming back again next year her child feel truly at home in public till today’s event. See related article. See photos.
Jul 20 - Central Outreach Center Erie Pride Flag Burned When Central Outreach Wellness Center in Erie, 3104 State Street, opened for business, the staff discovered the LGBTQ pride flag that hung outside the office burned. See related article. See photos.
Jul 9 - Crawford County Pride Crawford County Pride had wonderful performers, featuring Odd Atrocity, vendors galore with notables such as Trisha’s Treasures and Marie Loose booths with Pride shirts, Community Outreach of Erie and one hell of a drag show featuring Cher Michaels, Reba MacIntosh and Misha Michaels. Wonderful activities such as bubble making, chalk art, Drag Story Time and poster making accompanied the politics of Democratic PA Senate candidate Ria Czech and myself, chair of the Libertarian Party of Crawford County, Pennsylvania See related article. See photos.
Jul - Compton's Table gets a new home at PACA Compton’s Table has a new home, PACA, 1505 State St, Erie, PA! We built out this space to reach even more youth with AFFIRM, Compton’s Closet, and future programming. Be sure to follow our Facebook and Instagram pages for more updates! See related article.
Jun 25 - Erie Pride Fest and Parade All the colors of the rainbow were once again flying proudly in Erie as the Erie region came together to celebrate Pride. The parade stepped off from The Zone Dance Club with roughly two thousand participants traveling along West 18th Street before turning north on State Street and ending in Perry’s Square for the Annual Pride Fest, marking 30 years of Pride events for Erie. About 5,000 people total attended the event. See related article. See photos.
Jun 22 - Community United Church Art Show More than two hundred guests were welcomed at the Summer Art Show Opening at Community United Church, 1011 W 38th St, Erie PA 16508. The show celebrates eighteen artists and allies of the LGBTQ community, as well as the themes of liberation and freedom. See related article. See photos.
Jun 18 - 2022 Warren County Pride Warren County Pride continued to grow. Back in 2020, the gathering fit inside General Joseph Warren Park and now it is occupying nearly half of Betts Park. The new expanded location allowed vendors and sponsors to set up in the grass on either side of the parking lot, while scheduled events took place inside a central pavilion. See related article. See photos.
Jun 11 - 2nd Annual Jamestown Pride The 2nd Annual Jamestown Pride Festival, presented by Evergreen Health, was a successful follow up, establishing the annual tradition of Pride festivals in Chautauqua County. Kicking off on Friday, June 10th with the Pride Slow Roll and Laced Up Ladies Burlesque at Sneakers Bar, the main festival on June 11th had grown to three blocks of events. See related article. See photos.
Jun 11 - Pride Ashtabula County A crowd of over 2,000 people from every age and identity, attended Pride Ashtabula County 2022, held at the Ashtabula County Fair Grounds in Jefferson, Ohio. Those in attendance were entertained by several acts including Jungle Terry, who captivated the audience with his wildlife show, singer song writer Sue Hagan played her guitar and sang while yoga instructor Leah Hartman lead a Rainbow Yoga class, and Drag Queen Mona Lotz, who hosted the several Drag Shows throughout the day at the grandstand. Guest shopped the 120 vendors who brought hand made goods, jewelry, candles and so much more or pleased their taste buds by eating from the 12 food trucks and stand at the event. The LGBTQ Coalition of Ashtabula County, Inc stated that the second Saturday in June will be the festival's annual date for all future prides and looks forward to June 10, 2023 at the same location. See related article. See photos.
Jun 8 - NW PA Pride LGBTQIA+ Social at Underdog BBQ NW PA Pride was once again proud to partner with Underdog BBQ to prove a safe space for the LGBTQIA+ Community. Underdog offered food and drink specials (both with and without alcohol). We were also happy to be joined by representatives from the Erie Community College sharing the programs they offer. NW PA Pride is excited to continue to partner with local organizations like these to offer these opportunities to our LGBTQ+ Community. See related article. See photos.
Jun - Erie Chapter of Free Mom Hugs Reactivated After a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19, the Erie chapter of Free Mom Hugs has been reactivated. Free Mom Hugs is a nonprofit organization that was started in Oklahoma City in 2014, by mom Sarah Cunningham. After her son came out, Sarah noticed that many LGBTQIA+ youth were being ostracized by their families. Sarah wanted to do something tangible to help and, as a result, Free Mom Hugs was born. After our debut at Erie Pride 2022, we are now available to bring hugs to your LGBTQIA+ supporting organization. If you have an event or activity that you would interested in having Free Mom Hugs attend, please send an email to Kim Perrine, chapter co-coordinator, at email@example.com. You can also reach us on Facebook through the Erie Chapter of Free Mom Hugs group page. See related article.
Jun - Pride Flag display Steve Huefner once again did a fantastic job in getting Pride flags displayed by Erie area businesses, churches, and organizations. The initiative began in 2018, when about 30 places displayed a Pride flag for June, and has since grown to almost 100! 2022 marked a return after 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic. Please remember to support those who support our community! See related article. See photos.
May 21 - 5th Annual HIV/AIDS Awareness Walk The Erie County HIV Task Force held the 5th Annual HIV / AIDS Awareness Walk. The Erie County HIV Task Force is a collaboration of local organizations and individuals dedicated to educating, supporting, and advocating for people living with HIV/AIDS and preventing the spread of infection. The HIV / AIDS walk provides a reminder to the local community that making personal health a priority is everyone's right. This year's awareness walk enjoyed a new location as Adagio Health of Erie on Peach Street served as the host site for the Erie High residential are. Participants enjoyed educational materials, refreshments and testing opportunities via the Pa Thrive Partnership mobile unit at the event. Awareness walk attendees also received complimentary gift bags of materials from the task force as well as event sponsors Adagio Health, Central Outreach Wellness Center Erie, Community HealthNet, the Erie County Department of Health, Erie Gay News, Northwest Pennsylvania Pride Alliance, and SafeNet. Medical Reserve Corps volunteers and Public Health Staff were on hand for participants to ask questions and receive additional information regarding COVID-19, and the services of Nicotine Free Northwest PA plus other Erie County HIV Task Force partners. For more information on local services, testing, and free condom, visit the Erie County HIV Task Force at ECHIV.ORG or follow their Twitter account @EriePAHIV and like their Facebook page. See related article. See photos.
May 6 - G2H2 at Molly Brannigan's Friends enjoying a great time at Gay Guy/Girl Happy Hour (G2H2) at Molly Brannigan’s, 506 State Street, Erie PA. G2H2 meets the first Friday of each month at a different establishment. See related article. See photos.
May - HIV Task Force Launches FreeC2U? - free condom home mailing program The Erie County HIV Task Force is excited to announce the start of a FREE home mailing program where Erie County residents can receive safe sex materials by ordering online at condoms.echiv.org. The COVID-19 pandemic brought attention to the lack of accessibility for our community to access condoms when the existing free condom distribution sites were unavailable. Residents 13 years of age and above can visit the online website to select their preference of a dozen free internal or external condoms. Each home mailer pack is sent without indicating the contents to honor your privacy. Along with the condoms, each package includes lube packets, instructions, and print information about local testing/treatment sites as well as how to receive a free HIV home test. Supplies are provided by the funding from the CDC and inventory by the Pennsylvania Department of Health. Visit condoms.echiv.org to order your free dozen today. For more information, contact the Erie County HIV Task Force Chair at 814-315-3375 or firstname.lastname@example.org. See related article.
Apr 30 - LGBTQIA+ Food Drive The local LGBTQIA+ community came together to collect food for the Second Harvest Food Bank of NWPA. The drive was held at Central Outreach Erie, 3104 State St, Erie, PA. The group collected 781 pounds and $330 in cash. All food and cash will be used locally to help those in need. A group of volunteers put this event together from NWPA Pride Alliance, Erie Gay News, Greater Erie Alliance for Equality (GEAE), Transfamily of NWPA, Central Outreach Erie, and Compton’s Table. This is the largest community-based food drive of the year for the food bank. See related article. See photos.
Apr 15 - Brian Sims Meet and Greet Rep. Brian Sims (182nd District) stopped by Lavery Brewing Company 128 W 12th St, Erie PA for a meet and greet. Rep. Brian Sims was the first openly gay state legislator in Pennsylvania. He is currently running for the Democratic nomination for Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor, and his campaign website is https://sims4pa.com/. See related article. See photos.
Apr - Northwest Alliance rebrands as PA Thrive Partnership Northwest Pennsylvania Rural AIDS Alliance was founded in 1991 and has brought their services to 13 counties throughout the northwest part of the state. Since then, they've expanded to include 12 north-central counties. In 2022, they changed their name to PA Thrive Partnership and are continuing to bring hope and empowerment to those that need it. See related article.
Mar 30 - Erie LGBTQ+ Social Hour at Underdog BBQ NW PA Pride Alliance held an LGBTQ+ Social Hour at Underdog BBQ, 3040 W Lake Rd, Erie PA. Underdog BBQ was a wonderful host. Thank you to our info tables who attended Central Outreach Erie, Journey to a Trama-Informed Life, and UPMC Tobacco cessation group. NW PA Pride was also excited to unveil our new logo. See related article. See photos.
Mar 12 - Crary Art Gallery Fundraiser Crary Art Gallery, 511 Market St, Warren, PA, hosted an art show fundraiser for Warren County Pride. The event featured artwork and other items for sale, music by Sixpence, and appetizers. See related article. See photos.
Mar 4 - Pride Night with the Erie Otters For this evening, both The Erie Otters and Flint Firebirds players had special tape on their hockey sticks during warm-ups. Pride Board Member Moe Ferrara did the honorary puck drop before the game. Over 60 people attended as part of the Pride Alliance's special shirt/ticket combo. The night not only included many special LGBTQIA+ logos displayed, but the Erie Otters Player took part in a Special Video explaining why Pride Nights are important to them. Finally, during the second intermission, Pride President Alex Sphon joined the radio broadcast booth for an interview about why Pride Nights are so important for sports. See related article. See photos.
Feb 23 - Meadville LGBTQ Happy Hour W PA Pride Alliance held a fun LGBTQ Happy Hour at Julian's Bar & Grill, 299 Chestnut St, Meadville PA. The event is open to LGBTQ people and allies and occurs on the 4th Wednesday of each month. See related article. See photos.
Jan 24 - Erie Gay News reveals new logo Erie Gay News proudly revealed our new logo, which was designed by Patrick Hiller of Whee! Design. The new logo is on all of our social media, and we are excited by our new look! Also, we were very proud to be making window decals with the new logo and "Erie Gay News Available Here" to all of our distributors at no cost! See related article.
Jan 19 - Winter Coat and Boot Drive Area organizations had an excellent turnout for the coat and boot drive at Community United Church, 1011 W 38th St, Erie PA.Pver 35 pairs of men’s and women’s boots, and double that amount in winter coats. In addition, we received hats, scarves, gloves, and much-needed cans of ground coffee for Community Shelter Services. Diane Lazette, Executive Director of the shelter, was very grateful for the donation, saying there was an immediate need, especially for the winter boots. After we dropped off the donation, Diane invited us to take a tour of the shelter. It is hard to find the words for the emotions that we experienced that afternoon. Community Shelter Services provides a safe, clean, and warm place for people in need in our city. And there are many opportunities and ways to help support the shelter. Check out their website a communityshelter.org Participating organizations included TransFamily of NW PA, Erie Gay News, Community United Church, NW PA Pride Alliance, Greater Erie Alliance for Equality, Central Outreach Wellness Center Erie, and The Zone Dance Club. See related article. See photos.
About Jan - Erie's MEI score increases for the 4th year in a row The Mayor's LGBTQ+ Advisory Council received word that Erie's Municipal Equality Index (MEI) has increased yet again. In 2017, Erie's score was 29. After four years of working to implement programs, policies, and initiatives to increase our score, last month, officials from the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) notified the City that we are now at an 86. With this recent scorecard, 2021 marks the fourth year in a row that we have experienced an increase. See related article.
Dec 17 - Pride Nightclub at Voodoo Allegheny College's Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion held a Pride Nightclub at Voodoo Brewery, 215 Arch St, Meadville, PA. The event's theme was 80's, 90's, and early 2000's. LGBTQ+ and allies were welcome, and the DJ kept the dance floor busy! See related article. See photos.
Dec 15 - LGBTQ+ and Allies Happy Hour at Julian's Friends old and new gathered for the LGBTQ+ and Allies Happy Hour at Julian’s Bar & Grill, 299 Chestnut St, Meadville PA. Organizers Brett and Travis began the monthly event in June 2021. The group usually meets on the 4th Wednesday of the month at Julian’s but moved earlier for December because of the holidays. See related article. See photos.
Dec 9 - Pier Kids Screening and Panel Discussion A very moving and powerful discussion left a group of local people with an enhanced appreciation for themselves and their life journeys. The POV Season 34 feature film Pier Kids was shown at The Zone Dance Club, exploring the lives of homeless queer and trans youth of color on Christopher Street Pier in New York City. Director Elegance Bratton and Producer Chester Algernal Gordon use the film as a vehicle to transport viewers to an historic area where an underground community of homeless Black youth navigate the streets to find safety and stability. See related article. See photos.
Dec 8 - GEAE Year End Celebration The Greater Erie Alliance for Equality hosted their annual Year End Celebration. The event took place at Room 33 Speakeasy, located at 1033 State Street, in downtown Erie. Guests enjoyed hors d'oeuvres, specialty drinks and entertainment from solo musician Jesse James Weston. See related article. See photos.
Dec 1 - World AIDS Day Program The Erie County HIV Task Force presented the 2021 World AIDS Day Memorial observance program at the H.O. Hirt Auditorium in the Blasco Public Library at 160 E Front St, Erie PA. The program included pre-recorded video segments by Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf, Erie County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper, and others. In-person remarks were provided by Erie City Mayor Joe Schember, Director of Erie County Department of Health Melissa Lyon, Community Health Net Ryan White Nurse Care Manager Kelly Kruize, and Adagio Health Nurse Practitioner Andromeda Fair. Two blocks of panels from the AIDS Memorial Quilt were on display at the library, one inside the main entrance and one on stage during the program. The blocks were maintained and made possible by the staff and support of the Northwest Alliance of Clarion University. See related article. See photos.
Nov 20 - Transgender Day of Remembrance Candlelight Vigil TransFamily of NW PA held a Transgender Day of Remembrance Vigil in Griswold Park. About 25 people attended. The names of 60 trans individuals, many of them people of color, were read by attendees with loving memories by their friends and family. See related article. See photos.
Nov 17 - 21 - 22nd Annual Lake Erie Gala The Erie Sisters Transgender Support Group hosted their Annual Lake Erie Gala at the Courtyard by Marriott - Erie Bayfront and the adjoining Sheraton - Erie Bayfront Hotels. Now in its 22nd year, the Lake Erie Gala attracted crossdressers, transgender persons, and their loved ones from across North America and beyond our borders. Returning to the gala traditions, guests had their choices of informational workshops that included but were not limited to fashion/wardrobe/wigs, professional make-overs, manicures, image consultation, and professional photoshoots for gender identity affirmation. They also featured financial and transitional seminars. This year’s theme was "Always a Bridesmaid, Never a Bride" and featured a Thursday night Murder Mystery Dinner followed by Karaoke with DJ Beth. On Friday night, the formal "Glitter Ball" encouraged guests to live their fantasy in their preferred bridesmaid attire, followed by a talent show and dancing the night away. Saturday’s main event was entertainment at Kellar’s Magic and Comedy Club. Each day was full of wonderful social events and outings, including a Welcome to the Gala meet and greet by the pool-side with a pizza party, fine dining events, a spouse/significant other tea time, a tour of local wineries, and shopping excursions. Finally, our Big Sister/Little Sister program supported first-timers as they stepped out of their comfort zone and into their femme self. See related article.
About Nov - NGLCC Recognizes Journey to a Trauma Informed Life as an LGBT Owned Business Journey to a Trauma Informed Life is proud to be recognized as an LGBT Business Enterprise by the NGLCC. Journey is only the second business in Erie, PA, to receive this recognition. The National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) brings visibility to the City of Erie and accountability to its members. The NGLCC is the exclusive certifying body of LGBT owned business enterprises. See related article.
Oct 27 - Armstrong Trans Student Attacked in Kittanning A 14-year-old transgender girl, Willow Andring, suffered a concussion after being called names then physically attacked inside Armstrong Junior-Senior High School in Kittanning. The attack was recorded. See related article.
Oct 15 - Jamestown Pride Coffeehouse Seventy people attended Jamestown Pride's annual Fall event, the "J-Pride Coffeehouse," at the Robert H. Jackson Center. Planned in collaboration with the Robert H. Jackson Center and the Fenton History Center, the event focused on the struggles, stories, and successes of the Queer community in Chautauqua County. See related article. See photos.
Oct 9 - 10 - 15th Annual Pink Party Weekend This year’s Pink Party weekend was at The Zone Dance Club, 133 W 18th St. The benefit was a two-night event with money going to Linked By Pink. Michelle Michaels is donating the money this year in the memory of a friend who lost her battle this year. We love and miss your big heart, Tiffani Staley. The two-night event raised $3270. See related article. See photos.
About Oct - Warren County Pride is People's Choice Winner for 2021 Warren County Pride was awarded the People's Choice Award for Warren County Event of 2021. On Saturday, June 26, nearly 1,000 celebrated Pride together at Warren's Bett's Park. The event was entitled "Proud to Be Me" and featured a keynote from Lt. Gov. John Fetterman as well as speeches from Dr. Tyler Titus, Malcolm Kenyatta, Pastor Julia DiFiore, Dr. Greg Rabb, and Dr. Dale Haight. See related article.
Sep 27 - 4th Annual HIV / AIDS Awareness Walk The Erie County HIV Task Force held the 4th Annual HIV / AIDS Awareness Walk at Frontier Park, Erie PA. The ECHTF is a collaboration of local organizations and individuals dedicated to educating, supporting, and advocating for people living with HIV/AIDS and preventing the spread of infection. With the COVID-19 pandemic last year, testing and treatment services were limited for HIV and STIs across the nation as well as Erie County. In 2021, significant increases have been reported in HIV / AIDS and STI cases overall. Communicable diseases including HIV/STIs are preventable with education and access to medications, prophylactics, and services. The HIV / AIDS walk provides a reminder to the local community that making personal health a priority is everyone’s right. This year’s awareness walk also welcomed the recent addition of Central Outreach Wellness Center of Erie as local health center for the LGBTQIA community. Central Outreach supplied participants with free walk t-shirts and testing opportunities via their mobile unit at the event. Awareness walk attendees also received complimentary gift bags of materials from the task force as well as event sponsors Adagio Health, SafeNet, Community HealthNet, the Erie County Department of Health, Erie Gay News, and the Northwest Pennsylvania Pride Alliance. Public Health Staff were on hand for participants to ask questions and receive additional information regarding COVID-19, and the services of Nicotine Free Northwest PA and Adagio Health. See related article. See photos.
Sep 10 - 20th Annual Miss Erie Pageant The 2021 Miss Erie pageant was filled to the brim with local talent and a dazzling showcase. Patrons, and queens near and far flocked to the Zone Dance Club, 133 W 18th St, Erie PA, for the 20th annual Miss Erie pageant. Five queens competed for the coveted title and succeed the glamorous Rebecca Mae. This year’s theme was "Leather, Feathers, and Lace". The panel of judges included Michelle Michaels at the head of the table, renowned hairstylist Thom Haraczy, Erie Playhouse staple Moe Ferrera, graphics designer Patrick Hiller, and Ashley Lauria. See related article. See photos.
Sep 8 - PA LGBTQIA Health Conference Honors Janelle Crossley, 2020 Keira DeSantis Award Winner PA LGBTQIA Health Conference committee honored 2020 Honoree of the Keira Kristine DeSantis Award, Janelle Kayla Crossley, at a presentation at the Erie County Department of Health, 606 W 2nd St, Erie, PA. Speaking at the event was Erie City Mayor Joe Schember. See related article. See photos.
Aug 15 - 4th Annual Afternoon for Equality Greater Erie Alliance for Equality held their 10th Annual Afternoon for Equality at the Erie Yacht Club. President Leah Manino thanked board members and supporters for the past year. GEAE was proud to sponsor and also partner with other organizations for several initiatives including a virtual youth conference, a back to school drive, a food drive and more. GEAE also presented 4 area students with a $1.000 scholarship for continuing education at college or trade school. See related article. See photos.
Aug 14 - 28th Annual Erie Pride Picnic NW PA Pride Alliance held the 28th Annual Pride Picnic at Presque Isle. The event was located at the Rotary Pavilion, next to Beach 7. The LGBTQIA community of Erie was invited for a day of fun, friends, and food provided by the Pride Alliance. The event was also a part of 814 Day. A day dedicated to the city of Erie and the communities that make it possible. See related article. See photos.
Jul 26 - Journey To A Trauma Informed Life 2nd Anniversary Journey to a Trauma Informed Life observed their second anniversary at their office at 3104 State St, Erie, PA. Their other offices are at 2230 W. 8th Street, Suite#2 Erie, PA 16505, and 1001 State Street, Suite #1309 Erie, PA 16501. Journey to a Trauma Informed Life, LLC was founded in July 2019 by three dedicated clinicians who saw a need for trauma-informed, culturally competent mental health services in our community. Since then, we have grown to a staff of 12, each ready to help you on the next stage of your own journey to healing. See related article. See photos.
Jul 24 - TransFamily 4th Annual Summer Picnic TransFamily of NWPA held its annual summer picnic at Glenwood Park in Erie, PA. There were approximately 50 people in attendance, making it the largest picnic the group has held. Name tags encouraged the sharing of pronouns, vaccination status, and hug status. The main meal dishes of pulled pork, hotdogs, and veggie burgers were complimented potluck style with side dishes provided by those in attendance. The event was scheduled for 4 hours but ran slightly longer as many friends and chosen families, new and old, had their first chance to relax and enjoy each other's company since before the pandemic. We, the TransFamily of NWPA Board of Directors, feel that the event was a huge success. Please refer to our website https://transfamilynwpa.org/ for our calendar of events. See related article. See photos.
Jul 18 - Mount Calvary Lutheran Church of Erie, PA becomes first Reconciling In Christ Community in Erie County The congregation of Mount Calvary Lutheran Church (located at 1603 W 32nd St. in Erie, PA.) voted to become a Reconciling In Christ (RIC) community. The vote was a culmination of a multiyear long journey involving training, education, and dialogue led by Pastor Kristen Papson, Congregational Council, and volunteers from the congregation. See related article.
Jul 11 - Gay Day in Diamond Park Meadville, PA, had its second Gay Day in Diamond Park. Glenn Tuttle for Meadville Mayor and volunteers organized the event, which included vendors, food trucks, community groups, drag performers, and story reading. Candidates for office spoke, including Nerissa Galt for Penncrest School Board, Rianna Czech for PA State Senate District 50, and Glenn Tuttle for Meadville Mayor. Galt is running a write-in campaign as a Democrat for this fall's general election, Czech is running as an openly transgender woman for the Democratic nomination next spring, and Tuttle is running as a Libertarian for this fall's election. See related article. See photos.
Jul 3 - Queer in July Cookout Queer In July cookout was a successful event at Central Outreach Wellness Center, 3104 State St, Erie PA, with just under 100 attendees throughout the event. Many folks received wellness screenings and gained access to prep. Erie’s New Ballroom Scene leaders performed as well as local Drag Artist. We look forward to collaborating with LGBTQErie for more events this fall. For more about LGBTQErie, find them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/LGBTQERIE or their website at https://www.lgbtqerie.com/ See related article. See photos.
Jun 27 - 2nd Annual Drive Your Pride NW PA Pride Alliance organized the Second Annual Drive Your Pride event. About 70 cars decorated in all the Pride colors assembled at the Tom Ridge Environmental Center parking lot and drove around the Peninsula. There was coverage by local TV news. See related article. See photos.
Jun 26 - 27 - 2021 Virtual Pride Fest The weekend of June 26th and June 27th was Pride weekend in Erie. This year’s Pridefest was held virtually in collaboration with the Erie Playhouse. It featured performances from the Erie Playhouse actors, local drag entertainment, and speakers ranging from local activists to local and federal government officials. The show can still be watched on the Erie Playhouse YouTube page. See related article. See photos.
Jun 26 - Warren County Pride Saturday, June 26, was proclaimed "Warren County Pride Day" in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania by Gov. Tom Wolf. In the proclamation, the governor wrote, " I encourage all Pennsylvanians to celebrate this important observance and continue to work towards true liberty and justice for all." See related article. See photos.
Jun 14 - Penncrest School Board meeting about Valesky posts In May, Maplewood High School in Penncrest School District displayed LGBTQ books as part of a library exhibit. Penncrest School Board member David Valesky posted about the display, referring to it as "totally evil." Fellow PENNCREST board member Luigi Difrancesco allegedly shared that post. Community members reacted angrily to the post, and there was an online petition to have both board members recalled. The petition gathered 4,500 signatures. At the previously scheduled agenda-setting meeting held on June 14 at the Saegertown Junior/Senior High School in Saegertown, supporters and opponents of Valesky's post both attended. At the meeting, six residents spoke about Valesky's post. Among the three supporters speaking out for LGBTQ students were Saegertown Pride Alliance(SPA) student president LaWrynn Edwards and SPA faculty advisor Stacey Hetrick. Hetrick pointed out that the Young Conservatives Club also meets at the school, and both SPA and the Young Conservatives co-exist peacefully at the school with other clubs. The three speakers supporting Valesky and opposed to LGBTQ students did not see anything wrong or hurtful about Valesky's post. See related article. See photos.
Jun 12 - Jamestown Pride Festival Jamestown Pride's first Pride Festival held in Downtown Jamestown has been declared a success. The Festival took place alongside the Jamestown Public Market, included a Pride flag raising ceremony with Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist, a "safe space" information and resources area, as well as a free music, dance, and drag show headlined by Drag Star and Jamestown native Pandora Box. See related article. See photos.
Jun 9 - Local Erie LGBT 9th grader chosen as winner in national contest celebrating LGBTQ literature Hope in a Box and Channel Kindness, Born This Way Foundation's storytelling platform, announced that in addition to winner of their national contest to celebrate LGBTQ-inclusive literature. Zee Taylor, a 10th-grade student from Tennessee, Lee Talor: 9th grade, McDowell of HS, Erie, PA, was also chosen. See related article.
Jun 6 - Tyler Titus on MSNBC's The Sunday Show with Jonathan Capehart Tyler Titus joined Jonathan Capehart on MSNBC's The Sunday Show. The 5 minute interview was Titus' first national television interview as the Democratic nominee for Erie County executive. The interview opened by featuring Titus' viral campaign video, and focused on the historic nature of the race: if Titus had won, they would have become the first transgender county executive in United States history. Titus' MSNBC interview demonstrates the growing national interest in the Erie County campaign heading to the November general. See related article.
Jun 5 - Pride Ashtabula County Bill Daywalt and Rev. John Werner organized the inaugural Pride Ashtabula County, with the support of the LGBTQ Community Club. The event was held at the Hamper family farm in Jefferson OH. Attendance was estimated to be several thousand, and First Congregation United Church of Christ in Jefferson provided a shuttle bus to handle the crowd. The family-friendly event included speakers, local and regional businesses and organizations, a drag show, and a talent show. Drag performers Mona Lotz and Vivian Vendetta Sinclaire hosted the event. Another organizer, A.J. Petro, read a proclamation from the Ashtabula County Board of Commissioners. See related article. See photos.
Jun 4 - Zone Dance Club Alaska Benefit Performances The Zone Dance Club got a visitor from Glamatron 5000, and her name is Alaska. Erie native, and RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars 2 winner, Alaska Thunderfuck 5000, hosted a benefit show alongside Rebecca Mae for Erie's Zone Dance Club. Two separate shows were held during the evening. Each sold out within a day of the event's listing. See related article.
Jun - A Look Back, A history of the LGBTQ+ Community in Erie, PA "A Look Back, A history of the LGBTQ+ Community in Erie, PA" had its second run at The Blasco Library from June 1st through June 30th. This local LGBTQ+ history display was first exhibited during Pride month of 2019. The exhibit was refreshed and expanded. It was located on the second floor of the library, close to the LGBTQ+ juried art exhibit. See related article. See photos.
Jun - GEAE LGBTQ Juried Art Exhibit The Greater Erie Alliance for Equality (GEAE) presented an LGBTQ Juried Art Exhibit, which ran all of Pride month, June 1 - 30 at Blasco Library Supported by a grant from Erie Arts & Culture, the exhibit featured 58 artworks by 28 LGBTQ artists from northwestern PA. There was a variety of styles, subjects, and media in the exhibit, including painting, sculpture, photography, fiber, pastels, drawing, and mixed media. See related article. See photos.
May 19 - Tyler Titus Wins Democratic Nomination for Erie County Executive In an historic victory, Tyler Titus won the Democratic nomination for Erie County Executive. Titus released the following statement: "This victory belongs to the people of Erie County who know we need new leadership to build a prosperous future for all of us. From investing in our schools and infrastructure to expanding broadband access and creating good-paying jobs across the county, it's time to unite and deliver results for families across Erie County." Tyler would later lose to Republican Brenton Davis in it November 2 General Election. See related article.
May 13 - Cybersecurity Workshop Organizations including Erie Gay News, Greater Erie Alliance for Equality, Lake Erie Counseling, LBT Women of Erie, Northwest Alliance, NW PA Pride Alliance, Pennsylvania Equality Project, Safe Harbor, SafeNet, and TransFamily of NW PA partnered on a Zoom presentation on cybersecurity by the Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Security. George Dillman, Consumer Outreach Specialist for PA Department of Banking and Securities, presented ways to keep safe online and to avoid scamsWe will continue to pursue collaborative opportunities to keep our local LGBT community informed, safe, and healthy! Video of presentation is at https://youtu.be/H_4hDpC5St4 See related article.
About May - Erie Gay News included in PA Power Library The Erie County Public Library, is excited to announce that the entire run of the Erie Gay news is now digitally available for patrons to search and view! Through Pennsylvania Power Library and the PA Photos and Documents initiative, patrons are able to access these records from anywhere. The collection features Erie Gay News publications from 1992 to present day. These documents are text searchable, share to social media platforms, and save and print clips. See related article.
Apr 1 - Equality for PA Series: NW PA with Rep. Brian Sims and Erie LGBTQ leaders What impacts and barriers does Pennsylvania face due to the lack of statewide LGBTQ+ protections? This was the main question of a Facebook Live event held by Representative Brian Sims. The panel consisted of Alex Sphon, Dana Rasmussen, and Leroy Oglesby. Collectively they represent the following local LGBT+ organizations: City of Erie LGBTQ+ Advisory Council, Greater Erie Alliance for Equality, NW PA Pride Alliance, and TransFamily of NWPA. While the city and county of Erie have specific protections from LGBTQ+ discrimination, there are Pennsylvania cities and counties which do not. Among the items discussed were; importance of an LGBTQ+ council, access to health care including mental health, housing, public accommodations, employment, and safety. See related article.
Mar 24 - LGBTQ Victory Fund Endorses Dr. Tyler Titus for Erie County Executive LGBTQ Victory Fund-the only national organization dedicated to electing LGBTQ people to public office-endorsed Tyler Titus, naming them to their Spotlight list. This endorsement marked a significant moment in the campaign, demonstrating momentum heading toward the May 18 primary. With this endorsement, Victory Fund recognizes the strength of the campaign and the historic opportunity to elevate the first trans person ever elected in Pennsylvania history. Titus would go on to win the Primary, but lose to Republican Brenton Davis is is November 2 General Election. See related article.
Mar 20 - Food Drive for Second Harvest The Erie LGBTQIA+ Community came together to host a food drive benefiting the Second Harvest Food Bank of NWPA. Erie Gay News, Greater Erie Alliance for Equality, Northwest Alliance, and NWPA Pride Alliance collected the donations from 10 am to 2 pm. Nine hundred fifty-four pounds of nonperishable foods were collected as well as $500 in cash donations. See related article. See photos.
Mar 2 - Erie County Council unanimously passes resolution urging US Congress to pass Equality Act Erie County Council unanimously passed Resolution Number 8, sponsored by Councilman Carl Anderson and co-sponsored by Councilwoman Kim Clear, which urged Congress to pass the Equality Act. The Resolution was moved to adoption by Councilwoman Ellen Schauerman, seconded by Councilman Andre Horton, and passed 7-0. See related article.
Feb - Hundreds of Orgs (Including Several Based in Erie) Back Dr. Rachel Levine's Nomination to be Asst Secretary of Health Following the historic nomination of Dr. Rachel Levine by the Biden Administration for Assistant Secretary of Health, hundreds of organizations across the United States, including several based in Erie, joined together to urge the U.S. Senate to swiftly confirm her to this position. Dr. Rachel Levine was appointed, becoming the highest-serving openly transgender federal official. See related article.
Dec 21 - Share the Warmth Coat and Boot Drive The Greater Erie Alliance, NW PA Pride, and NW Rural AIDS Alliance joined forces to hold a warm coat and boot drive to benefit individuals served by the Ryan White Program. The drop off site was hosted by the Gem City Dinor, 3545 West 12th Street in Erie. Owners Elaine Reed and Rich Hodges were happy to open their doors to host the coat/boot drive. See related article.
Dec 9 - Erie HRC MEI Score Increases to 80 Mayor Joe Schember and members of the Mayor's LGBTQ+ Advisory Council announced that the Human Rights Campaign's (HRC) 2020 Municipal Equality Index (MEI) scorecard for the City of Erie has increased to 80. This record high score for Erie represents a marked improvement from the City's preliminary 2018 score of 34 out of a possible 100 points. See related article.
Dec 9 - PA LGBTQ Townhall The Pennsylvania Commission for LGBTQ Affairs hosted a statewide town hall for LGBTQ Pennsylvanians to talk about their experiences on issues such as discrimination, education equity, aging services, access and quality of health services, and housing, among others. About 120 people attended, The commission wanted to be as informed as possible in their advocacy for legislative and policy initiatives and help individuals and organizations find resources and support. Speakers representing a wide array of backgrounds and perspectives included Matt Haslam, Marshall Blount, Senator Tim Kearney, Janelle Crossley, Marilyn Blackburn, Terri Clark, Ceshia Elmore, Amanda Blouir, Trista Cochran, and Ciora Thomas. See related article.
Dec 9 - Transphobic sign in Waterford A message board in Waterford maintained by Dwyer Plumbing and Excavation Co. read, "Don't let a man in a dress rules us Waterford." The sign targeted openly transgender Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine, who has been working to contain the spread of COVID-19. The derogatory sign generated controversy, and there was a Change.org petition. Erie News Now aired a story on December 10. The business owner changed the text to read "Happy Holidays. Please wear a mask." The business owner chose not to speak on camera but expressed frustration with restrictions currently in place. Two Waterford residents interviewed disapproved of the sign. Erie City School Board President Tyler Titus said in a follow-up story the next day that transgender and gender-expansive people should not feel that their validity and lived experience are negated by this sign or other signs that don't make the news. And that their lives have worth and value. See related article.
Dec 1 - Tyler Titus Elected Erie City School Board President Tyler Titus was elected President of the Erie City School Board. The vote was unanimous. Titus is the first openly transgender person to hold that position, and also was the first openly transgender person elected to public office in Pennsylvania when initially elected to Erie City School Board on November 7, 2017. Titus also serves as co-vice chair of the Pennsylvania Commission on LGBTQ Affairs. See related article.
Nov 20 - 21 - 2020 E3 LGBTQ Youth Summit The 2020 E3 LGBTQ Youth Summit was held virtually. Opening night included a drag show presentation and the next day featured workshops and programming for both queer youth and adults. See related article.
Nov 20 - Transgender Day of Remembrance Virtual Vigil TransFamily of NWPA, again, honored our transgender, non-binary, or gender nonconforming family members lost over the past year due to acts of violence. Because of COVID-19, the event was held virtually on Zoom. See related article.
Oct 29 - GEAE and NW PA Pride Alliance Blanket and Sock Drive for Ryan White Program NW PA Pride Alliance and Greater Erie Alliance for Equality (GEAE) teamed up to host at Blanket and Socks drive. Thanks to the support of the Erie LGBTQIA+ community over 200 blankets and dozens of pairs of socks were donated to the local individuals served by the Ryan White Project. Both organizations hope to continue partnering on Giving Back events into 2021. See related article.
Oct 29 - Mourn the Dead and Fight Like Hell for the Living? Zoom presentation by GEAE Greater Erie Alliance for Equality brought Inaugural LGBTQ Outreach & Engagement Director at Harvard Medical School Jessica Halem presented a Zoom presentation on LGBTQ activism and history centered on the health care system. The presentation was Zoom bombed by antigay intruders, but it recovered and the presentation continued. See related article.
Oct 26 - Georgia Carpenter passes on Georgia Leona Carpenter, mother of three children and grandmother to seven, passed away at age 59. Georgia was born in Olean, NY on September 21, 1961 and lived in Eldred, PA. In her late teens and early 20s she worked with migrant farm workers, and learned to speak Spanish fluently. Georgia's wife, Helen Streett, was the principal organizer of the 1999 Erie Pride Rally. See related article.
Oct 14 - Letter Opposing Supreme Court Justice Appointment from LGBTQ Groups Across PA Greater Erie Alliance for Equality and other LGBTQ groups across Pennsylvania sent a letter to US Senator Patrick Toomey opposing the appointment of Amy Coney Barrett to the US Supreme Court to fill the vacancy left by the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The text of the letter appears in the linked article. See related article.
Oct 13 - Mobile HIV Testing at Dickey's BBQ Pit A first of its kind Mobile HIV Testing event took place in the Liberty Plaza parking lot using the new HIV mobile testing van. This event was spearheaded by NWPA Pride Alliance, Greater Erie Alliance for Equality, and The Northwest Alliance, together with Dickey's BBQ Pit and Transfamily of NW PA. Free HIV testing was available to anyone 14 years of age and older using a rapid 2 minute test. Those who got tested were given a $5 Country Fair gift card and a coupon for a free sandwich at Dickies BBQ. The organizers look forward to hosting similar events in 2021 and beyond. If you missed the event and would like to set up a time to get tested please contact Emily Crofoot at Ecrofoot@clarion.edu. See related article. See photos.
Oct 11 - Jamestown National Coming Out Day events Jamestown Pride celebrated National Coming Out Day with two virtual events including a Pride Flag Raising and an LBGTQIA+ community stories event. See related article. See photos.
Oct - Central Outreach Wellness Center Erie office opens Central Outreach Wellness Center, which originated in Pittsburgh, opened an office in Erie, taking appointments and welcoming walk-ins. Providing free HIV, STD, and Hep C testing, the medical center specializes in culturally competent healthcare. HIV treatment is available. To get set up with PrEP, simply text us at 412-322-4151. If you need the cure for Hep C, you can find that at Central Outreach also. Other services include hormone replacement therapy, addiction and recovery resources, and homeless outreach. See related article.
Oct - Compton's Table for Queer Youth formed In 1966 at Compton's Cafeteria, gender-expansive people responded to the hostility they were subjected to, simply because they existed, with an act of resistance. In solidarity, today, Compton's Table serves as a place where queer youth and young adults can find community and resist marginalization. Our mission is to eliminate systemic inequity, create community through peer connection, and empower queer youth and young adults to be agents of change. Together with the individuals and communities we serve, Compton's Table works to create a thriving LGBTQIAA community. See related article.
Sep 12 - GEAE Fun Walk 60 runners and walkers joined GEAE for their first Virtual 5K, Fun Run & Walk. Registrants and other community members also purchased chances at raffle baskets donated by GEAE board members, Natalie Braddock and Lake Erie Counseling. See related article.
Sep 6 - UK Asexuality Conference 2020 including Erie Ace activist COVID-19 did not stop the UK Asexuality Conference 2020 AKA AceCon2020 from happening and Erie Ace activist Marshall John Blount got the chance to not only attend but to panel one of nine intersectional panels. The panels ranged from Aces and Ethnicity to research which offered hours worth of education and conversation which concluded with Ace activist/model Yasmin Benoit and AVEN founder and Ace activist David Jay giving a beautiful closing to the conference. With the conference over, there was a virtual meet and greet on Gather (a social media site) with Yasmin Benoit which lasted well into the afternoon and early evening (Eastern Standard Time). The Gather event ended on a boat where we all celebrated like it was 1999. See related article.
Jul 29 - Tea Time with Drag Queens Some people, when they think of Community, they think of their closest family, their neighbors that help out when things get rough. When I heard about a letter that was not only sent to Andora's Bubble Tea downtown I was furious. It's 2020, there's a lot more issues in the world to be concerned with and what trends to 'cancel' I posted publicly that I wanted to show my support , by painting up a mug and going to buy my FIRST Bubble Tea. I looked for assistance on who wanted to join and got the Idea to have a Tea Time event with Drag Queens. I reached out via Facebook to Andora's Bubble, to ask if they would like the support of me and my Sisters to help boost business, and show the individual who wrote the letter that "Yes, in fact that the LGBTQIA+ Community is big and strong enough to support them" So on, July 29th, Debbie, Pissi Gabune, Priscilla Godzilla, Rebecca Mae and Alysin Wonderland gathered at the shop to pose for pictures and accept donations for the NWPA Pride Alliance. The turn out was AMAZING. There were no less than 20 people at a time throughout the day. We raised over $250 for the Alliance and when I spoke with the owners after our event ended, they said that there were TONS of new patrons, some who have never heard of the place or had Bubble Tea. Even while talking with some of the patrons, they heard about it through coverage on Erie New Now and the Facebook event. There were even a few people who stopped by to see what was with the crowd and were awestruck that we came together for support. It was nonstop. When I spoke with a few of the patrons who attended, one woman said that while there and talking "It felt like Family" and was very thankful for us coming together and organizing a get together. The general consensus from all who participated would LOVE to have a gathering of the queens again. I spoke with one of the workers and she told me that she didn't know how much exactly they made in sales, but it was definitely the BUSIEST day they've ever experienced, and that the owners loved everything about it and would love to host the event again and maybe make it reoccurring thing. It was a great time for everyone. There were even comments made that since people couldn't interact with us at Pride this year, that this was just as amazing and fun. See related article. See photos.
Jun 28 - Drive Your Pride event Leslie FoParticipants gathered in the Tom Ridge Center parking lot, decorated cars, lined up, then drove all the way around the peninsula. We counted 28 cars, approximately 80-100 people. Each car had at least two people, most had three or four. See related article. See photos.
Jun 27 - Virtual Pride Fest NW PA Pride Alliance hosted 2020 Virtual Pride Fest. Because of COVID concerns, it was not possible to be held in person this year. Speakers/presenters included US Sen. Bob Casey Jr, County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper, Leroy Oglesby, and Erie City Mayor Joe Schember. Live performers in the webcast included Misty Michaels Kall, Lovin Heart, Rebecca Mae, Priscilla Godzilla, Debbie, and Austin Kulyk. Pre-recorded performers included Snarebear, Porshaa Lejayy, and various performers from the Erie Playhouse. Emcees included Samiar Nefzi, reporter for Jet 24/Fox66; Lovin Heart/Alex Sphon President of NW PA Pride Alliance; and Toney Gressley, Entertainment Director for NW PA Pride Alliance. The viewing audience over the course of the event averaged around 175, with a maximum of 250. See related article.
Jun 13 - No Pride Without Black Lives Rally Cheyenne Moore organized at No Pride Without Black Lives rally in Perry Square. About 70 people attended, and there was local media coverage. In recognition of the Stonewall riots initiated by Black LGBTQ+ people in direct response to police brutality. people came together to peacefully honor, mourn, and advocate for the queer Black people who have been victims of homophobia/racism/police brutality. Speakers included Marty Nwachukwu of Erie County United, Zeila Hobson, and Niecey Davis. The event also included an impromptu march from Perry Square to Dobbins Landing and back. See related article. See photos.
Jun - 'I Am' Youth Queer Art Showat Erie Art Gallery The Erie Art Gallery held an online exhibit displaying the works of young artists. "I Am" Youth Queer Art Show can be viewed here There was also be a display outside the gallery, created by Jon Box. Erie Art Gallery was located at 24 W 8th St, Erie, PA. See related article.
Jun - Pride Flag Display For the 3rd year, Greater Erie Alliance for Equality was happy to have area businesses and organizations fly the LGBTQIA+ Pride flag for the month of June. Because of COVID-19, some businesses weren't open for June or had limited staff and were unable to respond. See related article. See photos.
May 13 - Gov. Wolf Announces Inclusion of Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation or Expression in COVID-19 Data Collection Governor Tom Wolf today took another step in his commitment to fair treatment and inclusion of LGBTQ Pennsylvanians by announcing ways the community will be counted in COVID-19 data. See related article.
May - Transgender Coalition of Pennsylvania Formed Because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the urgency of coming together in an unprecedented time, Transgender Coalition of Pennsylvania has been formed and we are looking for trans and nonbinary Pennsylvanians to come together and join a space of healing, convening, and planning. During this COVID-19 pandemic, it has become very clear that we need spaces we can have conversations that center our lives, experiences, and journey's toward equality and demarginalization in Pennsylvania. See related article.
Apr 25 - TransFamily of NW PA switches to meeting via Zoom TransFamily of NW PA began meeting virtually using Zoom rather than in person because of COVID-19. Event details are on their Facebook page. See their Facebook page for updates. See related article.
Apr 21 - Erie Gay News online only for two issues Because of the closure of non-life-sustaining businesses across Pennsylvania, which includes not only many of our distributors, but also the print shop that we use, the issues of Erie Gay News cover dated for April and May of 2020 were published online only. See related article.
Mar 20 - Jamie Hibbs passes on Jamie was a friend to the local LGBTQ+ community. She strongly believed in human rights and in fair and just treatment to all, and cared deeply about animals. Sincere condolences to Dok and the Hibbs family in their loss. See related article.
Mar 14 - John Daly King passes on John Daly King, age 82, formerly of Erie, passed away at Pleasant Ridge Manor. He was born in Butler Co., Pennsylvania on November 17, 1937, the son of the late Merton and Elizabeth Daly King. John had been active in PFLAG and supporting several other LGBTQ organizations. See related article.
Mar - Erie Sisters and Brothers Meetings and Socials Cancelled Due To COVID-19 In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, all Erie Sisters and Brothers Transgender Support Group monthly meetings and socials are canceled until further notice. Please note that there are chat rooms on the web site. See related article.
Mar - GEAE activities put on hold due to COVID-19 All Greater Erie Alliance for Equality (GEAE)-sponsored activities, including the Regional Gender and Sexuality Alliance (GSA) that had been held at Blasco Public Library and also the Queer Youth Art Exhibit which would have been held at Erie Art Gallery, were put on hold due to COVID-19 concerns. See related article.
Mar - Statewide LGBT Community Leadership Zoom Meetings begin Beginning in mid-March, there have been Zoom meetings for LGBTQIA+ leaders across Pennsylvania. The meetings are held at 5 PM weekdays. Many participants find that being able to have face to face contact with community member, even virtually, is helpful. The meetings still continued on Wednesday and Fridays as of the end of 2020. The early months feaztured speakers on important and varied topics. See related article.
Feb 16 - Face Drag Show for Michelle Michaels Birthday Michelle Michaels and a talented team of drag performers presented the annual birthday Face drag show at The Zone Dance Club, 133 W 18th St, Erie PA. See related article. See photos.
Feb 13 - Mercyhurst Flaming Hearts Dance Mercyhurst SAGA held their annual Flaming Hearts Dance at the Student Union at Mercyhurst, 501 W 38th St, Erie PA. They were joined by students from Identity, Edinboro's LGBTQIA+ student organization. Everyone had a marvelous time See related article. See photos.
Feb 5 - Erie County Council Passes Conversion Therapy Ban Resolution Erie County Council unanimously passed a resolution opposing the use of conversion therapy for minors. Erie County Council encouraged other local municipalities to pass enforceable bans on conversion therapy. Erie City Council had passed a ban on June 5, 2019 that included fines for violations. See related article.
About Jan - TransFamily ceases Meadviile meetings Because of a lack of attendance, TransFamily of NW PA's Meadville chapter ceased meeting. Erie meetings continued as usual the fourth Saturday of each month from 2 to 5 PM at Crime Victim Center of Erie, 125 W 18th St, Erie PA. The student group at Allegheny College is the only known LGBT group in Crawford County. See related article.