As June rolls around, it’s time to honor and support the LGBTQ+ community by getting involved in meaningful ways. Pride Month is not only a time for celebration, but also an opportunity to advocate for equality, support important causes, and create positive change.
In this month’s Community Corner, we’ll highlight various ways you can make a difference during Pride Month, including where to donate, volunteer, and participate in special events. Whether you identify as LGBTQ+ or are a passionate ally, there are numerous avenues to contribute and show your support. So let’s dive in!
Here is our June Community Corner. Ways to give back this month locally including fundraisers, donations, and volunteer work.
We’re always looking for a lead! If you have a fundraiser, volunteer sign-up, or cause you’d like us to know about, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Equality Community Center (ECC) is Maine’s first and only LGBTQ+ and social justice-focused community center. It was established in 2015 with the aim of creating a central gathering place for Maine’s LGBTQ+ community, where individuals can congregate, feel safe, and experience a sense of community. The idea for the center originated from the recognition that LGBTQ+ spaces were disappearing in other parts of the United States, leading to increased isolation for some individuals.
After developing a viable plan, the ECC opened its doors in 2016 at 511 Congress Street in downtown Portland. Since then, the ECC, along with allied LGBTQ+ organizations, has hosted numerous events (Drag Bingo, meetings, happy hours, craft nights and more) and welcomed thousands of community members, families, and allies.
Starting in 2020, the ECC expanded its vision beyond being solely an LGBTQ+ center. The goal was to create a space that would also house allied justice-seeking organizations (Equality Maine, MaineTransNet, PFLAG, Pride Portland! and more), providing a place where different groups could come together, collaborate, and build the community they desired. In March 2021, with the support of an Angel Donor, the ECC purchased a building located at 15 Casco Street in Portland, which was considered an ideal location for the center.
You can learn more about Equality Community Center including their mission and projects online.
ECC is always looking for volunteers but Pride is an especially action-packed month! A lot is planned and ECC needs dozens of volunteers to help to make it all happen!
- Pride Event Tabling
- March with ECC in the Pride Portland Parade
- Community Pride Events
- Pride Programming at the ECC
Sign up to volunteer online.
Unable to volunteer? ECC’s building still requires significant renovations to fulfill the ECC’s purpose and dreams. To achieve this, the ECC has launched a capital campaign with the aim of raising $4 million. These funds will be used to ensure the safety and full accessibility of the center to all constituents. Make a donation online!
MaineTrains.Net is a community based organization led by transgender people for transgender people. MTN provides peer-to-peer support groups, social and community events, advocacy for the transgender community across Maine, and transgender cultural competency training for medical, mental health, and social service providers.
MTN’s mission is to support and empower transgender people to create a world where they can thrive by engaging transgender people and allies across Maine in the practice of community building and organizing for mutual liberation. MTN’s work is rooted in a deep desire to care for one another, focusing their efforts on building systems of mutual support on a bedrock of accessibility, inclusivity, and hospitality.
MaineTrans.Net resources include:
- Getting help now + suicide prevention – Access to crisis lines.
- Help finding a provider with MaineQueerHealth.org – Improving LGBTQ+ community health access in Maine. This resource centralizes information about LGBTQ+ health, insurance coverage, and a database of LGBTQ+ friendly health and wellness providers.
- How to change your name and gender market – An introductory guide to changing your name and gender markers on state legal documents.
In addition to services, MaineTrans.Net hosts Creative Retreats, Support Groups, Youth Programs, Survivors’ Groups and is home to a safe and affirming thrift shop, Safe Combinations, serving Portland’s trans and queer community.
You can make a donation online.
Special Events + Fundraisers
Get ready to ignite the rainbow and let your true colors shine bright! Pride Month is here, and Pride Portland! is gearing up for an unforgettable celebration that will leave you inspired, empowered, and proud. Join Pride Portland! as they embark on a journey filled with love, acceptance, and unity. From dazzling parades to thought-provoking discussions, this event promises to be a vibrant tapestry of inclusivity and joy.
Pride Portland! brings people in Greater Portland, Maine together for an annual parade and festival to celebrate and honor the accomplishments of the LGBTQ+ movement, to raise awareness of the community’s ongoing struggles, and to foster an environment of inclusivity, accessibility, and solidarity!
When: Saturday, June 17th, 2023 from 1 PM – 5 PM
Where: Parade steps off from Monument Square at 1pm, proceeds along Congress Street to Congress Square Park, down High Street to Park Avenue, where it enters Deering Oaks Park by Mellen Street, and lasts for about an hour. Festival is held Deering Oaks Park from 1pm to 5pm.
Lobster rolls. Drinks. Casco Bay Harbor. A rocking DJ playing the best queer tunes. This is how Maine does Pride. Hop on board with Equality Maine for Pride! Your boarding pass includes lobster rolls from Luke’s Lobsters and sandwiches from Monte’s Fine Foods, as well as great queer entertainment and music by DJ Hennah. Plus, Little Chair Printing will be on board, with exclusive prints of their ‘Wicked Queeah’ merch!
When: Thursday, June 15th, 2023 from 6 PM – 9 PM. Boarding begins at 5:30 PM
Where: Casco Bay. Boards at 18 Custom House Wharf
Come celebrate Pride with a group bike ride through East Bayside. Meet at Austin Street Brewery’s Fox Street tasting room where you can first decorate your bike with streamers and spokes beads! After that an easy 3 mile ride will be lead through the neighborhood that starts and ends at their Fox Street tasting room. Stay after your ride to enjoy some beers and visit the MaineTrans.Net table representative to learn more about our June featured charity and why they’re so great!
*Attendees will be asked to sign a waiver upon arrival.
When: Sunday, June 11th. Ride kicks off at 1 PM
Where: 115 Fox Street
Looking for more Pride events and fundraisers? Check out our Guide to Portland Maine Pride: Where to Support, Celebrate, and Connect!