WEST CHESTER, PA - The Chester County History Center - CCHC- will hold two days of events in commemoration of Pride Month and in support of the LGBTQIA Community. On Friday, June 23rd, at 6:00 P, the History Center will welcome Walter Naegle for a moderated conversation about Bayard Rustin, history, activism, and resilience in the LGBTQIA community.
Walter, who is the surviving partner of late American Civil Rights leader Bayard Rustin, is the Executive Director of the Bayard Rustin Fund, which commemorates Rustin's life, values, and legacy. He is also a board member emeritus at the Bayard Rustin Center for Social Justice, an LGBTQIA safe space, community activist center, and educational enclave in Princeton, New Jersey dedicated to honoring Bayard Rustin through their mission and good works.
On Saturday, June 24th, at 2:00 PM, CCHC will commemorate Reminder Day, one of the earliest organized homosexual rights demonstrations in the United States, held in Philadelphia in 1965. Reminder Day sought to bring awareness and remind the public that basic rights of citizenship were being denied to homosexual individuals. Gay men and lesbians protested for the same civil rights granted to their fellow heterosexuals every July 4 from 1965 to 1969 in front of Independence Hall, Philadelphia.
The celebration will also commemorate Tea Dances, events organized on Sunday afternoons in the 1950s and 1960s originating in New York. Through the mid-1960s, it was illegal in New York to sell alcohol to known gay people, so the original Tea Dances included tea service. They were outdoor events for people to meet. Serving tea rather than alcohol made them more acceptable and less law-defying and allowed the gay community to come together without fear of raids by the New Your City Police. The Reminder Day – Tea Dance will be held on the grounds of the History Center with music, street food, and entertainment. Conor Hepp. CCHC’s president expresses “This year, we want to recognize the history and elevate the history makers that have paved the way for the LQBTQIA+ community. Their courage and resilience has changed our world for the better. We celebrate truth, strenght, and achievements of those that have come before while inspiring the future generations of our Country –one that promises life, liberty, happiness, and justice for all.”
The History Center’s mission is to Link the Past to the Present to Inspire the Future. As part of this mission, it is our express intention to share the history of all members of our community and their important contributions to our County and Nation. CCHC is committed to being a diverse, equitable, and inclusive organization that offers participation opportunities for all community members and to serving, supporting, and being accessible to the rich and diverse community of Chester County, Greater
Philadelphia, and beyond. Our commitment includes -but is not limited to community members of all ages, abilities, economic circumstances, ethnicity, gender, race, religion, and sexual orientation.
The History Center is a partner with the LGBT Equity Alliance of Chester County and will welcome volunteers from the organization Free Mom Hugs.
Pride events are held thanks to the support of our TD Charitable Trust, Aqua America, and PECO.
All Pride Month Commemoration events will be free and open to the public.