While there are many fun holidays to celebrate in June, such as National Cheese Day and Hug Your Cat Day, June is also known as Pride Month, celebrating the LGBTQ community. This year is the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots of 1969, a pivotal moment in the gay rights movement in which police raided a gay bar in New York City, sparking protests from the LGBTQ community. In celebration of Pride Month, several community groups have organized their own Pride-themed events in Palo Alto, including the first Pride-themed movie night at the Mitchell Park Library and a panel on LGBTQ political advocacy.
Button-making and movie
Hosted by Mitchell Park Library, this event is open to teens ages 13 to 18. Participants will be able to make a button with pronouns they identify with and eat pizza while watching the 2018 film "Love, Simon." The movie, which is based on a book by Becky Albertalli, follows a closeted gay teenager named Simon who is struggling to come out to his friends and family, a task made more difficult when a classmate stumbles upon his private emails and threatens to reveal his secret to the whole school. The event is "focused on LGBTQ teens, but it's open to friends and allies as well," said Teen Librarian Molly Wallner. "We wanted to create a safe space for everyone to celebrate Pride Month."
The movie will be held in the Midtown Room of the Mitchell Park Library, 3700 Middlefield Road, on June 18 from 5-8 p.m. Information is posted at paloalto.bibliocommons.com.
Project Safety Net, an organization dedicated to preventing youth suicide and promoting mental health awareness, is hosting a community forum to address the importance of getting LGBTQ youth involved in politics. Former Santa Clara County Supervisor Ken Yeager will be the keynote speaker and will host a panel with LGBTQ youth leaders, including Warren Wagner, Joseph Diaz, Ana Soto and Ryan Fouts.
"Each of the panelists bring a different perspective to the table," said Max Usman, a Project Safety Net member who helped organize the event. "The overall objective is to educate our community about how decision-making processes and leadership roles affect young queer people in our community."
The forum will be held on June 26 in room H-1 of the Cubberley Community Center at 4000 Middlefield Road. Information is posted at eventbrite.com.
Movie night in the park
Hosted by LGBTQ Youth Space and local drag performer Pettie Page, this screening of the 1996 film "Matilda" is the first outdoor movie night in Palo Alto that focuses on LGBTQ individuals and their families. The movie centers on a child prodigy who discovers that she has special powers, which she uses to stand up to the bullies in her life. Attendees are invited to bring snacks, blankets and chairs to Mitchell Park, 600 E. Meadow Road, at 8 p.m. on July 20. Free popcorn will be provided by the LGBTQ Youth Space. The animated short film "In a Heartbeat" will also be shown.
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