Pride has been claimed by many in various LGBTQ communities as a symbol of strength, courage, and healing ever since the Stonewall Riots in 1969. Many people find themselves marching, chanting, shouting, singing and connecting at various Pride events in June and throughout the year.
This is no different for the founders of Queery, Geoff Peckman, James Young, and Jeff Gurkin-Young. They are making queer theory accessible through their company’s project, “Sticks and Stones: Reclaiming Names that Were Used to Hurt Us.” This art-based program looks at derogatory heteronormative terms used against and within the LGBTQ communities in a fun and creative way stimulating discussion and learning.
Over the past year, “Sticks and Stones” has raised consciousness in art gallery settings, LGBTQ youth, adult and senior programs and colleges. After one of their college workshops, a cisgender straight white male student said in shock that he didn’t realize the historical hate and violence connected to some of the terms and committed to not using the term “faggot” anymore.
Queery also does training for professionals as they presented at the NYS Coalition Against Domestic Violence Annual Prevention Conference as well as the Department of Health’s Bureau of Women, Infant and Adolescent Health Conference. There, Queery worked with various providers who support victims and survivors of violence, sexual health and family care programs to include LGBTQ discussions and outreach.
Queery will be tabling at various Pride events during the month of June selling magnets, cards, posters, and their new t-shirts, all of which are also available online. The proceeds will allow Queery to continue to get people talking, learn more about queer theory, and raise consciousness. Of course, since Queery is about sharing queer stories and experiences, they are proud to be teaming up with author Eddie Pabon at these events. There he will be signing a copy of his powerful memoir, “The Son Will Rise in December.” You can find them at Westchester Pride, Bronx LGBT Pride, SAY IT LOUD Black and Latino Gay Pride in Albany, Love Wins – New Rochelle Pride at The Rock Club, the Urban Health Plan in the Bronx and Rockland Pride this month.
As you read this, perhaps you can find your own pride by claiming your own strength, courage and healing. You can use this month to march, chant, shout, sing and most importantly connect with those who value you just as you are.
To learn more about Queery or to purchase your own queer gear, please visit their website at www.queery.us. For more information or to order your own copy of Eddie Pabon’s memoir, please visit his website at www.eddiepabon.com.