Carnegie Public Library to celebrate LGBTQ pride

Logan Raschke, Editor-in-Chief

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People can mingle over cupcakes while celebrating LGBTQ pride at the Charleston Carnegie Public Library’s second Celebrate Pride social gathering next week.

Library associate Daniel Briscoe said the gathering, which will take place on June 17 at 6 p.m. in Rotary Rooms A and B of the Carnegie Public Library, is a safe space for members of the community to celebrate and show support for LGBTQ pride.

Briscoe said cupcakes, coloring books and a button-making station will be available at the gathering. The Charleston PFLAG organization will also be there to set up an informational table, he said.

The Charleston area has few Pride Month events to offer, which is why Briscoe said he wanted to get something started at the library.

He said Eastern and the local schools usually host events in the fall and spring during LGBTQ History Month in October, but with most students gone in the summer, nothing much is offered for those remaining.

Briscoe said seeing as this is only the second Celebrate Pride the library will have hosted, there is plenty of room for the social gathering to expand in the future.

He said in upcoming years, he would like to see the library partner with other organizations or local businesses in collaboration to make the event even bigger.

Briscoe said events like this are necessary because they show people in the LGBTQ community that they have local support.

LGBTQ people have been historically oppressed, he said. While support for the LGBTQ community has increased significantly since the Stonewall riots, people are still uneducated about the struggles the community has had to overcome since then.

Briscoe said this is another reason events like Celebrate Pride are crucial; they can provide educational resources to those who need it most.

Like any prevalent events that have taken place in history, such as the Holocaust or AIDS epidemic, he said people need to be aware of what happened so that history does not repeat itself.

“I just think it’s always no matter how far removed you are from that history, it’s always good to know that things can be different if you’re not careful about making sure people are treated right,” Briscoe said.

Director Chris Houchens said he wants to stress that members of the LGBTQ community in Charleston have a safe place to come to at the Carnegie Public Library. That is something he said he is proud to say about libraries as a whole.

“We are a safe space for everyone in our community,” he said. “Celebrate Pride is the embodiment of why (the Carnegie Public Library) exists—to offer that safe space (and) to build those connections between community members.”

The Carnegie Public Library is located at 712 Sixth St.

Logan Raschke can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].