Westerly Sun Column | A Safe and Welcoming Space for LGBTQ+

May 28, 2024

June marks Pride Month, a time when communities worldwide come together to honor the LGBTQ+ community, commemorate its history, and advocate for equality and justice.

Pride Month holds profound significance, tracing its roots back to the Stonewall Riots of June 1969, a pivotal moment in the fight for LGBTQ+ rights. These events sparked a movement that continues to inspire and empower individuals to live authentically and proudly.

At Westerly Library & Wilcox Park, we recognize the importance of providing a safe and welcoming space for all members of our community. Our commitment to diversity and inclusion extends beyond the pages of our books; it permeates every aspect of our programming and outreach efforts. That’s why we are thrilled to announce our 3rd annual Pride in the Park event on June 1st, from 12 PM to 3 PM.

Pride in the Park began in 2022, when the Teen Pride Club, a flagship program for the library’s Teen Space, celebrated with chalk, gelato, and games in Wilcox Park. Pride Club meets every Thursday at the library, as a safe space for LGBTQ+ teens and allies to build community and socialize. 2023’s Pride in the Park celebration brought together patrons of all ages to visit with community groups, craft, and, again, eat delicious gelato.

This year’s event will feature informational tables from inclusive community organizations: Bank Square Books, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Rhode Island, Rhode Island Family Services: AIDS Project RI, Rhode Island Student Assistance Services, Stonington Pride, South County Prevention Coalition, Tri-County Community Action Committee, The Womxn Project, United Congregational Church of Westerly, Wellbeing Collaborative, Westerly ARC, and Westerly Library’s Teen Pride Club.

In addition, we will have activities and treats for all ages! Be sure to check out the tie-dying station at the Wellbeing Collaborative, visit with the farm animals, make a zine, enjoy face-painting and balloon animals, and snack on Pompelmo Gelato and popcorn from Mystic Cinema! Stop by the Westerly Library booth and sign up for a special PRIDE Month library card.

We invite all members of our community to join us as we honor Pride Month and reaffirm our shared values of love, equality, and respect. Save the date: June 1st, from 12 PM to 3 PM. We look forward to celebrating with you!

For more information about the history of Pride, check out these Library of Congress resources:





By Mel Fricchione, Children's Librarian and Rebecca Graebner, Head of Youth Services and Education

Share this story
Share this News Item on FacebookShare this News Item on TwitterShare this News Item on Linkedin