BROOKINGS – Brookings PRIDE, founded in March 2019, is a new organization dedicated to building, protecting and serving the Brookings area’s LGBTQ+ community.
Organizers say it will advocate for diversity and inclusion, provide training, and produce educational programming for community members of all ages, and it aims to fulfill some of those goals with its first Brookings PRIDE Night next month.
Founded by Charmaine Houck, a local queer resident, author, speaker, wife and mother, Brookings PRIDE quickly took off through its Facebook page (@BrookingsPRIDE), and a diverse planning committee was formed.
“I consider myself a co-founder,” Houck said. “One person doesn’t create or represent a group of people or an event. We are working with individuals and businesses throughout our community, and even past residents, to produce this family-friendly, full of pride event.”
Brookings PRIDE Night will take place from 6-10:30 p.m. Friday, June 14, at Old Market Eatery. The event will consist of fun, interactive activities for all ages; drag queen performances; and a panel discussion with local, regional, and national LGBTQ+ organization representatives and activists. Michael Billy, CEO of Hudson Pride Center in Jersey City, New Jersey, will also perform.
Proceeds from the event are being donated to PFLAG-Brookings. The PFLAG mission is to build on a foundation of loving families united with LGBTQ people and allies who support one another and to educate themselves and their communities to speak up as advocates until all hearts and minds respect, value and affirm LGBTQ people.
Ticket information will be available soon on Eventbrite and the Brookings PRIDE Facebook page.