MISSOULA — Pride Month usually marks the celebration of the LGBT+ community with parades and various celebrations but this year those events are canceled due to the corona virus.
But the Western Montana Community Center is wanting people to show their resiliency as well as allowing others to embrace their true selves with a giveaway of rainbow masks.
David Herrera is the Director of the Montana Gay Health Task Force and a board member of the Center and says that they expected to donate 200 masks but now the Center is projected to give away 1,200 masks by the end of June.
Herrera says that Pride Month to him means the remembrance of the Stonewall Riots of June 1969 and how far society has come. “Really to me it's about liberation, it's about the need to not be ashamed, to not live your life in fear and that we are human beings and deserve the same rights as anyone else," said Herrera
But there is still room for growth, Herrera says: “Definitively there’s still a lot of work that needs to happen in regard to homophobia, racism and trans-phobia."
Despite the coronavirus canceling many Pride events, like Big Sky Pride, Herrera says it wont stop the center’s outreach. “Even though that’s not happening we are not going to let it stop us from communicating an important message this month.”
The Two Spirit Society and the Montana Gay Health Task Force are collaborating with the Center in a free testing event at the end of June. To learn more about the Montana Gay Health Task Force click here. To learn more about the Center click here. To learn more about the Two Spirit Society click here.