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Learn about local LGBTQ history at a new exhibition

 Adriana Fraser  

A new exhibition, set to debut next week in Bensalem, will explore five decades of LGBTQ history in Pennsylvania as a tribute to the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots.

LGBTQ nonprofit New Hope Celebrates will run “Equality: Pride in Our History” Jan. 13 through Mar. 23 at the Bucks County Visitor Center in Bensalem. The exhibition will feature a collection of stories, photos, and memorabilia from LGBTQ people living in New Hope and the surrounding areas. It is free and open to the public daily from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

The equality exhibition will commemorate the Stonewall Riots in New York City, which served as a catalyst for the gay-rights movement in the United States and around the world. The five-panel, freestanding display follows the progression of LGBTQ history throughout Pennsylvania starting in the 1960s until now.

“While progress in equal rights and status has been significant in the LGBTQ community, it is important to recognize who — nationally, statewide and locally — has worked diligently through the decades to pave the way,” said Daniel Brooks, founder of New Hope Celebrates.

The exhibition is an extension of New Hope Celebrates History, an interactive website where people can contribute their photographs and stories to be archived and preserved.

Find out more about our NERP Conference in March

LGBTQ conference set to introduce new Pride organization

Adriana Fraser  

Pride organizers from Pennsylvania, New York, Delaware, Washington, D.C., and other nearby areas will gather in New Hope for this year’s Northeast Regional Pride (NERP) Conference, and discuss the creation of a new national Pride organization.

The annual conference, to be held March 7-10, will see the introduction of the United States Pride Association, an organization to join Pride groups from across the country. The United States Pride Association will be a member of InterPride, the international association of Pride coordinators that organizes Pride conferences such as NERP.

Northeast regional director Alan Reiff explained, “The United States Pride Association will become a Pride platform of InterPride.”

“In the country, there are six geographic regions of InterPride. Moving forward, there will no longer be any regions but one unified Pride platform that represents all Pride organizers in the United States,” Reiff said.

InterPride has more than 200 active members around the world, including 110 in the U.S.

The international association began in 1982 to unite the U.S. Pride organizations and expanded globally when Canadian and European members joined. Reiff explained how the United States Pride Association would be similar the European Pride Organizers Association, which joins together organizers from celebrations in Amsterdam, Berlin and London, and Fierté Canada Pride, the Canadian-Pride association.

“InterPride is now reorganizing itself to have an Oceania, Africana and Middle Eastern Pride region. Each Pride platform will be represented at InterPride’s international council,” Reiff said. “At the NERP conference, there will be a lot of discussions on how we are going to organize ourselves with the other regions across the country and who will represent the U.S. at the international council.”

Matt Hanson, president of New Hope Celebrates, said the group will “help U.S. Prides to grow.”

“The idea of a Prides of the U.S. came up at past NERP conferences and now we’re finally taking the steps to make it possible,” Hanson said.

He also noted Pride organizers in the U.S. “are the only ones that use InterPride as the conduit to do business” with other global Pride organizations.

NERP will hold a workshop on March 9 to discuss the details of the new organization, and how it will develop throughout the year.

NERP will also feature workshops on effective strategies of organizing and evolving Pride celebrations. This year’s theme, “Celebrating our Past, Planning our Future,” will focus on Pride plans to honor the upcoming 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots.

New Hope Celebrates will host a pop-up exhibit called the “50 Moments of Pride” on March 9, commemorating the event.

This will be the second time since 2013 the NERP conference will be held in New Hope. More more than 100 Pride organizers are expected to attend, including representatives from this year’s WorldPride, which will be held in New York City, June 28-30.

“The conference is also open up to any businesses, community organizations, educators and community leaders that want the opportunity to network with the Pride organizations and learn more about what we do,” Hanson said.

The Northeast Regional Pride Conference will be held March 7-10 in New Hope. For more information, visit www.nerpnewhope.com

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