NKY Pride Center will open this summer

It's been a goal of the NKY Pride organization for more than a decade -- a space where LGBTQ youth and others can receive support, and where resources and community-based services, as well as cultural and social opportunities, can be organized.

The NKY Pride Center will open in Covington this summer, perhaps as early as July, says Bonnie Meyer, co-chair of NKY Pride. There’s still some work being done to the Pike Street space and the organization is finalizing its application for not-for-profit status, but “certainly the doors will be open sometime this summer,” she says.

The Pride Center’s mission is to advance LGBTQ equity and inclusion efforts in the region by meeting the needs for community-based services and programs for LGBTQ Northern Kentuckians.

Members will have access to networking events, happy hours, promotional opportunities within the Pride Center, educational events, and rental of the Pride Center space.

After a year off (events were held virtually in 2020), the major event of NKY Pride, the Pride Festival, will take place in-person in MainStrasse Village on Sunday, June 6. The festival will feature vendors, performers, family friendly activities, and food and drink options.

Some changes have been made to ensure that the event can take place safely in the Covid-19 environment, organizers say. The official programs will be 100% outdoors; vendors will be spaced to encourage social distancing; masks will be required, and the parade will not take place this year. The drag show at Hotel Covington is currently postponed until October.

The annual event will focus on connecting members of the community with mental health resources, HIV/AIDS testing and education, and faith-based services, Meyer says.

“Members of the LGBTQ community — especially LGBTQ youth — have faced numerous struggles throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and the NKY Pride Center feels obligated to provide access to these important resources in a way that is safe and socially distant,” she says.

Additional events planned include a PrideArt installation throughout Covington to commemorate twelve years of NKY Pride, and a #PorchPride social media campaign.

The festival will also expand its hours and stream many of its activities to ensure attendees can practice social distancing and avoid Covid-19 risks.

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Read more articles by David Holthaus.

David Holthaus is the managing editor of NKY Thrives, an award-winning journalist, and a Cincinnati native. When not writing or editing, he's likely to be bicycling, hiking, reading or watching classic movies.