June is nationally recognized as LGBTQIA+ Pride Month to commemorate the trials and tribulations of an historically marginalized community. While it’s incredibly important to recognize and observe the challenges of the LGBTQIA+ community, there’s also a passionate push to celebrate the successes as well. This summer, and all year round, explore the Pride of Connecticut.
Pantochino Productions Inc., 40 Railroad Ave, Milford
Pantochino Productions of West Haven presents its new musical, “As Long As We're Talking.” This original play, inspired by true events, follows the happenings within an LGBTQIA+ bookstore when an unexpected crisis phone call casts normalcy aside. It runs June 24, 25 and 26. “Audiences will experience all the feels in this one-act musical,” said Bert Bernardi, playwright and director. Be sure to catch this one of a kind theatrical experience. 168 York Street Cafe, 168 York St. New Haven
Despite being one of the oldest gay bars in the state, 168 York St. has a hip and happening vibe that keeps it feeling fresh! Tucked in the bottom floor of a classic Yale brownstone, 168 York Street Cafe is upbeat, edgy, and authentic. With Pride flags adorning the charming outdoor patio, this bar is an overtly welcoming space for the LGBTQIA+ community. Partners Cafe 365 Crown St., New HavenThis is a spot that changes vibes each night of the week, including Sunday night karaoke and Friday night drag shows. Known locally for the breathtaking Anne Frank mural that graces the white brick exterior, this hub for LGBTQIA+ culture is a must-visit any time of year, but especially this month. The Port of Call, 15 Water St., Mystic
Mystic, a seaside Connecticut village known for its nautical nature, is home to an exciting new nightlife experience. The Port of Call, a cocktail lounge and restaurant, is celebrating Pride all summer with a bi-weekly dinner, disco, and drag show night. At these "Sea Queens" events, patrons can enjoy dinner and a drag show in one of the state’s most charming areas! Don’t miss the after party at Dive, the eclectic “water hole in the belly of the beast” located on the first floor – classic arcade games, shuffleboard, and disco dancing, there’s bound to be something to shiver your timbers! The Queens will be calling The Port of Call home until Labor Day.
While there are some incredible public ways to engage in Pride Month, it’s important to celebrate and support in whatever way makes sense for you. Whether you celebrate at home with those you love and trust, shop LGBTQIA+ online or a tip a Queen at a show, it’s important to remember the sacrifices, losses, struggles and successes of the LGBTQIA+ community.
Francesca Fontánez is a Meriden based journalist, educator, and creative. A graduate of both the University of New Haven and the University of Bridgeport, she is happy to be back in Meriden writing about the city she loves and surrounding areas. When she's not teaching ELA at Washington Middle School she's either exploring the Eastern seaboard for her lifestyle blog (@ eastsidevibes on Instagram) or working on music for her band, Cessa and The Zach.
Email Francesca at eastsidevibeswithcess@ gmail.com with tips on what you want to read about next, or just to say hi!