Still Time To Be A Proud Producer- And I’m Putting My Money Where My Mouth Is

There’s only 1 week left!

Montana Pride 2012 and Wet Paint Studios are working to bring a quality film about Montana diversity to life- and we want your help. Films are expensive to make- and every contribution is important. From their Indiegogo webpage:

The LGBTQI community is coming out of the woodwork.  With political gains such as the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” and the Obama Administration’s affirmation of promoting equality for the LGBTQI community, more and more people are coming out and showing their true selves to the world.

And yet, in rural Montana, sometimes their only opportunity is at annually held Montana Pride.  In a state of just a million people, ideas come in slowly.  For some, Montana Pride, held annually in June, is what affirms themselves in the LGBTQI community, as well as the greater community.

“Outside The Lines” explores what it means to be an LGBTQI in Montana, and why pride is more than a weekend celebration in diversity.  Using Montana Pride as our anchor, we plan on exploring how attitudes towards the LGBTQI community has changed in Montana, how Pride brings people together for a weekend of celebration, and how that celebration needs to carry on through everyday life.

Our filming will take place during Montana Pride, held in Bozeman once again June 15-17.  We are also currently lining up interviews with prominent members of the gay community, such as leaders of PFLAG (Parents, Family, Friends, of Lesbians and Gays), representatives of our legal system, teachers, and activist college students.

Plus, every contribution over $10.00 gets a “perk”- which includes Producer credits (you have to be in for more than 10 bucks to get that). It’s an amazing opportunity- and I’ve already kicked in $50 bucks. 

If they get five more donations today, I’ll kick in an extra $50.00. Come on- even $10 will get us closer to our goal!

To see how you can be a producer, click here: http://www.indiegogo.com/montanapride2012

Why You Should Attend A Rural Pride Event This Year

A rerun of last year’s column…

New York Pride?
Check.

San Diego, Seattle, Vancouver, Chicago, Atlanta, Miami, San Francisco, Boston, Portland, Kansas City, Dallas, L.A., Denver, Philly?
Double check.

Bisbee, Anchorage, Bozeman, Wichita, Boise, Flagstaff?
Well, uh….

I know, not exactly the top of the list for most of you. Many of us actively fled rural life to get to urban safety. I get that- I was one of them. For a while, anyway. But I want you to consider going to a gay pride event in an out-of the-way place this summer.

Click for schedule!

Why? Because we need you.

LGBT people live in rural America. We work here, go to school, own property, pay taxes, raise families, attend churches, shop and donate to charity. We don’t have a lot of gay bars, LGBT sports clubs, drag shows and neighborhoods where we can hold hands with our partners. Nonetheless, we live here. We love here. We have friends and families here.

Sometimes we do it under a great deal of stress.

I work with a lot of LGBT persons who have really good reasons for living in rural America. We don’t get a lot of support. Far too often, the strongest reason to leave is to find a greater sense of community. Sometimes, that is the only reason- the driving reason, that makes them pack up the car and head to Denver or Seattle or Portland.

Creating community in a small town isn’t always easy. There are a lot of obstacles to overcome- fear, shame, stigma- all the old tapes. We don’t have a large pool of organizers, and often the same people are the ones organizing every event. Burnout is common. Sometimes we just need some encouragement.

And that’s where you come in.

The fight for LGBT Equality is not going to be won in the cities. It’s already mostly won there. It’s going to be won in small-town America, where people need to see gay people as human, normal and neighbors- not just some characters on television. It’s going to be won when the lady who runs the local Holiday Inn meets real-live lesbians and finds them to be just like any other guests. When the casual onlooker comes to the parade to see “freaks” and walks away disappointed, when he sees families and friends laughing and cheering. When a bi kid is accepted and loved instead of encouraged to “get off the fence”. When locals see their gay neighbors in the light of day, paying our own way, as deserving of love, respect and commitment as anyone else. When drag shows and AIDS charity events are just as normal and accepted as karaoke, rodeo and the county fair. When  our rural and small-town legislators, see us simply as citizens with the same rights as every other constituent. When kids don’t say “gay” as an epithet of scorn and derision.

When we are seen as part of a larger community. That’s when full equality will happen.

We need your encouragement to continue the struggle for that equality. It can be pretty lonely out here, sometimes. And I’ve come to believe that, as important as the work in the cities is, those who work to improve the lives of LGBT persons in rural America are the real heroes. The drag queens in Butte or Bisby may not be as glamorous as the Key West queens, but they’re certainly just as brave- braver even.  The HIV activist in Anchorage has just as many concerns as the activist in Atlanta. We want to know you have our backs when we’re working to educate legislators and local politicians and school boards and businesses. We want to know that it’s okay to stay here, even when it’s hard.

We need you.

So look up a rural Pride event this summer. Go to it. Let us know you support us. Clap at the little parade, dance in a barn, make out with a hot cowboy, cowgirl and/or farmer, encourage a teen, hug a drag queen, listen to an elder, give money to a PFLAG chapter. Just go- we need you.

Because you need us, too.

You’re Invited

Come together to celebrate Pride Foundation’s
impact on Montana’s equality movement!
_________________________
Partners in Pride Buffet Dinner
Saturday, June 16, 2012
5:30 – 7:30 PM

 

Hosted by
Tom Marsh, Greg Smith, and Ken Spencer
Montana State University
Student Union Building | Room 168
Donations accepted but never required!

Please RSVP by Thursday, June 14 by texting or calling Pride Foundation’s Regional Development Organizer in Montana, Caitlin Copple at 546.7017 or by emailing caitlin@pridefoundation.org.
 


Founded in 1985, Pride Foundation inspires a culture of generosity that connects and strengthens Northwest organizations, leaders, and students who are creating LGBTQ equality in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington State.
Visit www.pridefoundation.org for more information.
 Pride Foundation’s mailing address in Montana is P.O. Box 7456 Missoula, MT 59807  

_________________________

Montana Pride 2012 Schedule Revealed!

Click for schedule!

Want To Be A Producer? Help Us Make This Film.

Montana Pride 2012 (full disclosure: I’m on the committee) and Wet Paint Studios are working to bring a quality film about Montana diversity to life.

But we need your help. Films are expensive to make- and every contribution is important. From their Indiegogo webpage:

The LGBTQI community is coming out of the woodwork.  With political gains such as the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” and the Obama Administration’s affirmation of promoting equality for the LGBTQI community, more and more people are coming out and showing their true selves to the world.

And yet, in rural Montana, sometimes their only opportunity is at annually held Montana Pride.  In a state of just a million people, ideas come in slowly.  For some, Montana Pride, held annually in June, is what affirms themselves in the LGBTQI community, as well as the greater community.

“Outside The Lines” explores what it means to be an LGBTQI in Montana, and why pride is more than a weekend celebration in diversity.  Using Montana Pride as our anchor, we plan on exploring how attitudes towards the LGBTQI community has changed in Montana, how Pride brings people together for a weekend of celebration, and how that celebration needs to carry on through everyday life.

Our filming will take place during Montana Pride, held in Bozeman once again June 15-17.  We are also currently lining up interviews with prominent members of the gay community, such as leaders of PFLAG (Parents, Family, Friends, of Lesbians and Gays), representatives of our legal system, teachers, and activist college students.

Plus, every contribution over $10.00 gets a “perk”, including “Producer” credits. It’s an amazing opportunity- and I’ve already kicked in $50 bucks. 

To see how you can be a producer, click here: http://www.indiegogo.com/montanapride2012

Pride Foundation In Montana: Promoting Equality And Generosity- With A New Website

Pride Foundation launched a new website this week, making it much easier to focus on the great work we are doing throughout the Pacific Northwest. And yes, I say we. And so should you.

Since 1985, Pride Foundation has been promoting a culture of philanthropy and generosity among LGBT people and our allies- most recently supporting Marriage Equality in Washington State. And we’re not stopping there.

Pride Foundation is proud to support LGBTQ equality in Montana. Building on the first Montana grant awarded in the 1990s supporting a LGBTQ youth conference, we have been growing support for Montana organizations and scholars thanks to donors and volunteers with more than $300,000 awarded to date. For every $1.00 given in Montana, $3.80 is returned to Montana by Pride Foundation.  Seriously. That’s a firm and amazing commitment.

As a donor-supported community foundation and a catalyst for change, we support transformative philanthropy, programs, and individuals in the Northwest that help people find joy and strength in who they are and where they are—in urban, rural, and remote communities.

Caitlin Copple is Pride Foundation’s full-time Regional Development Organizer in Montana, based in Missoula. But Caitlin travels throughout the Treasure State meeting donors, volunteers, grantees, and scholars—building a community to move LGBTQ equality forward in Montana. She’s on the road for Pride Foundation every week.

Contact Caitlin to learn more about Pride Foundation’s work in Montana and to find out how you can get involved. Be sure to sign up for Pride Foundation’s monthly eNewsletter to learn more about our supporters, grantees, and scholars. You can also read all of Caitlin’s Montana stories online.

Local Leadership: For Montana, By Montana

Local leadership makes Pride Foundation’s work meaningful and relevant as local Montana volunteers help award our grants and scholarships in Montana. Montana’s Leadership Action Team is one group of volunteers that provides guidance and advice to staff. I am proud to be a part of this group of amazing individuals. With representation from Arlee, Billings, Bozeman, Helena, Kalispell and Missoula, the members of the 2012 Leadership Action Team are:

  • Chris Bedoian
  • Rep. Bryce Bennett (D-Missoula)
  • Aaron Browning
  • Suzie Eades
  • Mel Fisher
  • Ginny Furshong
  • Shelley Hayes
  • David Herrera
  • Pat Kemp
  • Tom Marsh
  • Greg Smith – Chairperson
  • Mary Stranahan
  • Mike Wessler
  • Bobbie Zenker
Look for us this summer at Montana Pride– and remember, groups/events can request sponsorships ($50.00 to $500.00 separate from the larger grant cycle) from Pride Foundation through a quick and easy form. Pride Foundation is committed to LGBT Equality and philanthropy in Montana- we want you with us. Remember, for every dollar given by Montanans to Pride Foundation, $3.80 comes back to Montana. That’s an incredible return on your investment.
And our lives here are more than worth it.

Montana Pride Announces: Jessie And The Toy Boys

 

From MontanaPride.org :

We are stoked to announce another awesome add to our weekend line-up for 2012 Pride.
Check out  Jessie and The Toy Boys … performing live on Friday night, June 15th at Montana Pride!
She’s toured with Britney and Nicki Minaj, and in just a month will be right here in Bozeman. (Share it!)

 And don’t forget to get your tickets early- they’re going fast! Click logo for site.