Thursday, June 9, 2011

Say It Loud

Post by Pride Agenda Albany intern Geoff Corey

My name is Geoff Corey. I’m the Pride Agenda’s Albany Office intern and am excited to be doing this work. I’m a Political Science student at the University at Albany, and I minor in LGBTQ Issues. I’ll be doing all sorts of work for the Pride Agenda all summer long, and my first assignment was to table this last weekend during the "Say It Loud: Black and Latino Pride Festival” on Saturday, June 4.

The festival is a one-day event held as an opportunity for LGBT people of color to come together in solidarity to honor their diversity and individuality. As the sun shined on the Hudson River Waterfront, the Pride Agenda passed out information about marriage equality and transgender equality and justice to incredibly receptive community members. We handed out letters addressed to senators urging them to support the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA). Many people were shocked to hear that it is still legal to fire, or evict someone in New York State based on their gender expression or identity and quickly provided their signature and information on a letter.

Our transgender rights/upstate organizer, Christopher Argyros, also collected pictures of LGBT families for our Family Photo Album: Picture Equality project in support of Marriage Equality. Families pasted their photo on a piece of paper and beneath it wrote a letter urging their senator to support marriage equality legislation. These letters and photos will be sent to senators in the next few weeks, every day, leading up to the end of session on June 20, so that they get a glimpse of real people, and make a connection to those who’s quality of life will improve and be affected by the passage of the marriage equality bill.

With the music playing, the food cooking, and the people smiling, the Pride Agenda collected over 100 letters in support of GENDA, and educated community members about issues of importance to the LGBT community and our families. Whether they were LGBT, straight allies, people of color, young, old, or middle aged, everyone enjoyed the great day of music, food, and activism.

The Pride Agenda will be marching, tabling, and partnering with other organizations around New York State. This weekend, we will be at the Capital District Pride Parade and Festival on Sunday, June 12 in Washington Park in Albany. You can volunteer to help table and collect letters and photos by contacting Christopher Argyros, at or (518) 649-8140. Also don’t forget that every Wednesday night through June 15, there will be phone banking at the SEIU 1199 office at 155 Washington Avenue from 6:00 – 8:30 PM. For more information about Pride Agenda events, see our Program Calendar.

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