On June 28, 1969, in the dark hours of the early morning, police conducted a raid on the Stonewall Inn, an LGBTQ+ friendly nightclub, in Greenwich Village, New York City. It was a common practice for these raids to occur leading to mass arrests, particularly of people we now call gender non-conforming or transgender. On that night in 1969, hundreds of people gathered outside of the club in defiance of the police and in defense of the queer community.
What ensued is known as the Stonewall riots. This popular movement by queer people quickly swept across the United States, spawning calls for gay liberation and inspiring pride marches. These events sought to commemorate the Stonewall uprising, continue the struggle for civil rights, and increase awareness of LGBTQ+ people. The people of Wheeling will continue this time-honored tradition in June with several events happening throughout the city. Here’s how you can get involved:
Pride in Wheeling Day
On Friday, June 9, Orrick is hosting their 7th annual Pride in Wheeling event at Heritage Port starting at 8:00 AM. Volunteers can help plant trees, clean up litter around downtown, and paint a mural at Heritage Port. In case of rain, the event will be moved to Friday, June 23.
On Friday, June 9, the Friendlier City Project is hosting a trivia night at Clientele Art Studio, 43–15th St, at 7:00PM. Get a team of friends together, decide on the perfect team name, and test your knowledge on LGBTQ+ and West Virginia themed questions!
Pride on the Plaza
On Saturday, June 10, the Friendlier City Project is hosting their inaugural Pride on the Plaza at the Market St Plaza, 1053 Market St, from 3:00 to 9:00. This family-friendly event will celebrate Pride month with live music, food trucks, and local vendors and artists.
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On Saturday, June 10, after the Pride on the Plaza event, Clientele Art Studio, 43–15th St, is hosting an after party for folks to continue their celebrations.
Celebrate Pride month by proving Wheeling is ‘The Friendly City.’ Get involved with a cleanup effort, gather with friends to test your LGBTQ+ and West Virginia knowledge, and support local musicians, artists, and vendors at Pride on the Plaza.
• Justice Hudson is an AmeriCorps volunteer and citizen journalist originally from Saint Albans, West Virginia, and has lived in Wheeling since January 2020. He studied history and women and gender studies at West Virginia University and has worked in farming and community education since moving to the Friendly City. In February 2023 he began writing as a folk reporter independently for the Hudson Household Editorial and for organizations including Mustard Seed Mountain, BlackByGod: The West Virginian, and Weelunk