Pride 2021

Progressive Pride flag colors in the top left corner overlaid with two hands reaching towards a heart. In the top right corner is the Y logo and in the bottom right is "Pride 2021" written in rainbow colors.

The YMCA of Central New York is Here For All!  

We are pleased to celebrate our LGBTQIA+ community and allies through a robust series of Pride activities in June 2021. Most of our events are virtual, so we look forward to seeing you on the Virtual Y!  

Our virtual events include “Y Pride 2021: Celebrating LGBTQIA+ Activists and Organizers of Central New York,” a virtual speaker series featuring a diverse group of Central New York-based LGBTQIA+ activists and organizers; “Gender and Sexuality: Creating Affirming Environments for All,” a workshop for LGBTQIA+ allies presented by the Q Center at ACR Health; and an event with participants from the Downtown Writer’s Center’s “Speaking Out” creative writing workshop for LGBTQ+ and gender-nonconforming teens, supporters, and friends. Additionally, we’ll be hosting virtual screenings of both the NYC Youth Pride Virtual Event and the CNY Pride Virtual Event through the Virtual Y!  

In the branches, we’ll celebrate a PRIDE Visibility Day on Monday, June 21! Wear your favorite rainbow gear, pick up a PRIDE sticker from any of our branches, and use hashtags #YPride2021 and #HereForAll to show your PRIDE!  

All virtual events are FREE and open to YMCA members and non-members, though many do require online registration. Please see below for a full list of events and more on how to register.  

The Y is here for all. We are proud to serve you!  

Contact for PRIDE events and the Virtual Y: Jess Posner, Virtual Program and Membership Services Director,   



Monday, June 7 

Virtual Y Speaker Series: “What is Community Beyond Identity?”  
5-6pm EDT 

Conversation with Koy Adams (Activist, ACR Health, Black Cuse Pride), Michael Leonelli (President, CNY Pride), and Rahzie Seals (Activist, BLM, Black Cuse Pride) 


Monday, June 14 

Virtual Y Speaker Series: “Queering Disability Justice”  

5-6pm EDT 

Conversation with Sora Sol (Disability Justice Activist and Owner, Cirqovation) and Katie Tastrom (Writer, Attorney, and Disability Justice Activist) 


Monday, June 21 

Pride Visibility Day 

Show your pride by wearing your favorite rainbow gear and a Pride sticker from any of our branches. Use social media hashtags #YPride2021 and #HereforAll to show your pride and support! 


Virtual Y Speaker Series: “Enduring: A Virtual Film Screening with Friends of Dorothy House” 
5-6pm EDT  

Screening of “Enduring: The Friends of Dorothy House” (2017) film by Kevin R. Brown, followed by a Q&A with Friends of Dorothy House founders, Michael DeSalvo and Nickolas Orth.  


Thursday, June 24  

“Gender and Sexuality: Creating Affirming Environments for All” 
Virtual Presentation by The Q Center at ACR Health 

6:30-8:30pm EDT 

This presentation covers updated terminology in regard to sex, orientation, identity and expression, a look at health disparities effecting the queer community, promising practices to create affirming environments for transgender and gender expansive individuals, and ways to be a better ally. Presenters: Karen Fuller FPA-C, Credentialed Family Peer Advocate and Talia Shenandoah, Youth Development Specialist. Free and open to members and non-members of all ages.  


Saturday, June 26 

Streaming: NYC Youth Pride Virtual Event 
4-7pm EDT 

We are proud to partner with NYC Youth Pride! Young people can celebrate NYC Pride with their friends and other youth everywhere through this virtual event featuring musical performances, LGBTQIA+ center spotlights, DJs, and a special ballroom segment. 

Youth Pride will be hosted by both Amber Whittington and Jorge “Gitoo” Wright – two powerful influencers and activists who are changing our country (and the world), coast to coast. Whittington, creator of AmbersCloset, is best known for creating content that not only represents her community, but empowers others to show up as their best, most authentic selves. Gitoo, a NYC-native, has carved a space for himself as a creative, host and professional personality who’s known for the electricity he brings to any space he’s in. Some of the performances, appearances, and sets lined up for this year’s Youth Pride include Brita Filter, Deetranada, Mia Lailani, Tarriona 'Tank' Ball, Alvin Ailey Dance Theater, Kate Gil, Citizen Queen, RAYE, Kat Cunning, Gotham Cheer, Serpentwithfeet, Aaron Rose Philip, Papi Juice, DJ Karaba, and Devan Ibiza – with more to be announced in the coming weeks. Please register to receive important updates. Free and open to all!  


Streaming: CNY Pride Virtual Program  
7-9pm EDT 
Link coming soon!  

Join us as we stream CNY Pride's "Virtual Edition" Pride Festival, presented by Equitable. Featuring performances by Deviant Dance Tribe, Jason Ngo, Felipe Panama, Kitschy Scofflaw, Koy Adams, Frita Lay, Sparkle Royale, Rea Listic, Tayler Mayde, and Natalie Taylor, and hosted live by the fabulous Samantha Vega, this digital festival will be streaming online June 26 and will be free and open to the public! Check out the CNY PRIDE Facebook page  for more details and updates. 


Monday, June 28 

Virtual Y Speaker Series: “The Unseen Work of Staying Alive: Queer Survival, Poetry, and Organizing in Syracuse” 
5-6pm EDT   

A conversation with Minnie Bruce Pratt (Poet and Activist) and Fabiola Ortiz Valdez, PhD (Activist, Scholar, and Labor Organizer) 


Wednesday, June 30 

“Speaking Out” Live Virtual Event 
7-8pm EDT

Please join us on Wednesday, June 30th at 7pm EDT for a FREE, ALL AGES virtual event celebrating original, creative writing by participants of the Downtown Writers Center’s teen “Speaking Out” writing workshop. We are thrilled to uplift the voices of these bold, creative youth as they use their power and observation as writers to express, reflect, and image themselves and their community. The event is hosted by “Speaking Out” workshop facilitator Gemma Cooper-Novack.   

“Speaking Out” is a 6-week virtual workshop focused on providing a space for LGBTQ+, gender-nonconforming, teen supporters and friends to examine writing by and about LGBTQ+ and gender-nonconforming communities, and engage in writing exercises related to the fixed, constructed, and mobile aspects of identity as writers and as people living in the world.  

To learn more about “Speaking Out” and all of our programs at the Downtown Writer’s Center for youth and adults, click here. If you are interested in joining an adult, LGBTQIA+ writing workshop this summer, please contact Georgia Popoff,, to be added to a list to receive information once it becomes available.  

Program note: Some of the original artworks by our teen artists contain mature language and themes that may not be appropriate for all audiences. The host will inform all guests of the segments containing mature language and themes, should they choose to temporarily mute or leave the event. 


Download a printable calendar here.