Though Pride is meant to be a celebration, we must remember and acknowledge that it began out of strife. This hardship continues today, and we are saddened by the 540+ anti-LGBTQ+ bills that have been introduced in state legislatures in 2023 alone, with over 220 bills specifically targeting transgender and non-binary people. BTLT may be a small land trust in Maine, but we can still have a voice and an impact. We acknowledge that the outdoors have historically not been a safe space for the LGBTQIA+ community and many other marginalized communities. Over the past two years, we’ve hosted 14+ events in close partnership with Queerly ME. Together, we aspire to begin to break down that barrier, hoping that LGBTQIA+ folks can feel safe, accepted, and comfortable walking the trails and participating in outdoor activities with their fellow community members. Through events like these, we can help cultivate intergenerational safe spaces for LGBTQIA+ connection, community building, and outdoor exploration. We’ve been thrilled to see Queerly ME grow, collaborating with other local land trusts and environmental organizations, providing even more positive outdoor experiences for the LGBTQIA+ community.
Serving as Brunswick Pride’s fiscal sponsor this year has been an honor; we’re grateful to be able to build trust with our LGBTQIA+ friends and neighbors in this way. We are so excited to again have a table at Brunswick Pride Festival, alongside the Cathance River Education Alliance, on June 10th from 12-5pm on Brunswick town mall. Pick up a BTLT trail map, and learn more about our LGBTQIA+ programs, Maine mammals, minerals, and birds. The first 100 visitors can pick up a kid’s Rainbow Hike Kit! Other local organizations and businesses will be tabling in support of the LGBTQIA+ community. There will also be live performances, music, family-friendly games and activities, food, and a Makers’ Market. Learn more at www.brunswickpride.org.
Big shoutout to our LGBTQIA+ staff members, volunteers, business partners, family members, friends, neighbors, and more. We’re so glad you’re a part of our community!
Photos of BTLT/Queerly ME events by Kyle Warnock of Queerly ME.