Activist organizes #queerNEPA event series in Scranton for LGBT Pride Month in June
From a press release:
Tim Maloney, a 25-year-old queer Muslim activist from the Wyoming Valley, has announced “#queerNEPA,” a new event series in Scranton that celebrates LGBT Pride Month. Taking place throughout June, this series will highlight some of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer voices of Northeastern Pennsylvania. Maloney also seeks to draw attention to discrimination and injustices that occur on a daily basis.
To kick things off, the Queer & Counting: An LGBTQ Art Show will be held at The Leonard Theater (335 Adams Ave., Scranton). Co-hosted by Jess Meoni, this First Friday art exhibit will take place on June 1 at 6 p.m. and Saturday, June 2 at noon. During this two-day affair, Maloney will be collecting donations to support the National Black Justice Coalition, a civil rights organization dedicated to the empowerment of black LGBTQ people, including those living with HIV/AIDS.
On Tuesday, June 12 at 6 p.m., an LGBT+ Pride Rally and Vigil will be held at the Mulberry Ballroom on the second floor of POSH at the Scranton Club (404 N. Washington Ave., Scranton). This rally serves as a means to promote equality and justice, as well as reflect upon the lives lost since the start of 2018. This event will also coincide with Pulse Remembrance Day, which marks the tragic anniversary of the nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida in 2016.
The LGBT+ Rally & Vigil is sponsored by Florey and Holloway Cleaners; Electric City Bakehouse; Gober’s Deco Lounge; Canteen 900; Adezzo; 12 Penny Saloon; HEAT NEPA; Ale Mary’s; Backyard Ale House; Terra Preta Prime; Justice Grown Pennsylvania; Tiffany Griffiths, Psy.D. & Associates; Action Together NEPA; Equality Pennsylvania; and Lackawanna County Greens.
On Friday, June 22 at 7 p.m., all are welcome at Whiskey Dick’s (308 N. Washington Ave., Scranton) for a Queer Night Out. Allison Horrocks will kick off the night with some poetry, followed by music played by Lily Maopolski. In lieu of a cover charge, Maloney will have a donation collection for Cookie’s Joint, a Harlem-based community resource that provides food, clothing, toiletries, gender-affirming items, emergency-housing, and crisis support to LGBTQI people of color in New York City.
On Monday, June 25 at 6 p.m., A Fabulous Little Book Club will take place at Temple Hesed (1 Knox Rd., Scranton). There will be an informal discussion of “Let’s Talk About Love” by Claire Kann, a novel described as “a swoon-worthy romance depicting the life of a biromantic asexual woman in her exploration of identity and love.” Light beverages and snacks will be provided.
In conjunction with this book club meeting, Maloney is holding A Fabulous Little Book giveaway. Enter online here for a chance to win a copy of the book with a special surprise included. This giveaway ends on Friday, April 27.
Wrapping up this June series, Vanessa Leigh White Fernandes (founder of the Hugging Army) and Maloney are teaming up to hold an event called Hug Fest on Saturday, June 30 at 4 p.m. on Courthouse Square in downtown Scranton. The Hugging Army and friends will offer free hugs, flowers, positive notes, and more to the people of Scranton.
“This event series is about being unapologetically queer. It’s about loving yourself and dancing on the glittered covered ceiling. It’s also about standing against the many forms of oppression and destruction, such as the issues of sexual violence, racism, colorism, transphobia, homophobia, ableism, and xenophobia,” Maloney said.
“I look forward to celebrating Pride in the Electric City with all y’all, allies and LGBT+ folk alike. Until then, let’s get engaged in our neighborhoods and do what we can to help those in need.”
A graduate of Keystone College, Maloney is an activist and blogger with a passion for advocating nonviolence, sex positivity, and social justice. He received the Best Life Blog award at NEPA BlogCon’s 2016 Blog of the Year Awards and was the 2017 recipient of the Susan Merrill Constance Kozel Award by the Interfaith Resource Center for Peace and Justice in Wilkes-Barre.
For more information on #queerNEPA, see Maloney’s Facebook page.