A message from Peter Yacobellis, president of Out Montclair:

Published Thursday, April 14, 2022

For me and many others like me in the broader LGBTQ+ community, we've had to spend so much of our lives just simply trying to stay safe, be seen, and be treated with dignity.

Seven years since the U.S. Supreme Court in Obergefell vs. Hodges, effectively legalized same-sex marriage nationwide, our community finds itself once again the focus of cynical political efforts to scare and divide Americans. In what feels like a chilling throwback to 1930s Germany, books about LGBTQ+ people or by LGBTQ+ authors are being banned in states across America. In America. In 2022.

In at least a dozen states, laws have been enacted or are being pursued in effort to prohibit schools from using a curriculum or discussing topics of gender identity or sexual orientation. What is a teacher in Florida supposed to say to a classroom if a child asks why a classmate has two mommies?

What's happening to parents of trans youth in Texas is equally alarming. Take a moment to Google what is happening to trans youth around America in terms of sports and treatment and support and you will be appalled. Calls into crisis hotlines like the Trans Lifeline (translifeline.org) or The Trevor Project (thetrevorproject.org) are through the roof as young people are being marginalized and scapegoated by willfully ignorant leaders.

As I came of age, I found safety, comfort and community in places that flew pride flags and had pride festivals and events. These were opportunities to discover that I wasn't alone and all of the resources that were available to me. They were places where I sparked life-long friendships and they were places I felt seen and heard. Community LGBTQ+ Pride events are as important now as they've ever been as a way for people in our community to feel safe, be themselves, develop self esteem and be shown support by the community at-large.

Since the launch of Out Montclair in Spring of 2020, we've been able to create Out Montclair Teens, Out Montclair 50+, educational sessions on gender pronoun terminology and issues in aging. This summer we'll launch Out Montclair Families for parents in Montclair and around to find new friends and allies too. But next up is going to be a tremendous event we're planning with Broadway stars, celebrities, local talent, art, food, performance and so much more at the first-ever Montclair Pride 2022. As a non profit with an all volunteer staff, we must raise funds to pay for things like security and stages and more.

Will you consider supporting me and Out Montclair in putting on the inaugural Montclair Pride to keep it free for attendees?

All donors over $25 to this campaign will be recognized in several places, including in a commemorative book put together by the Montclair Art Museum and Out Montclair. See additional benefits below. (If you would like your contribution to remain anonymous, please email us at finance@outmontclair.org.)

Benefits will be provided as follows, by tier:

  • Supporter ($25 - $249)
    Your name printed in a special Montclair Art Museum + Out Montclair zine book to commemorate the first Montclair Pride, a full-page ad in the Montclair Local after Pride, and on the Out Montclair website.
  • Advocate ($250 - $499)
    All of the above, plus 1 ticket to the Pride VIP Party on June 10.
  • Leader ($500 - $2,499)
    All of the above, plus an additional ticket (2 totaled all ) to the Pride VIP Party on June 10.
  • Champion ($2,500 - $4,999)
    All of the above, plus social media callouts and recognition from the stage at the VIP Pride Party on June 10.
  • Ambassador ($5,000+)
    All of the above, plus recognition from Out Montclair's president on the Main Stage at Pride on June 11

Be a part of the inaugural Montclair Pride 2022 by clicking here: https://givebutter.com/montclairpride2022