Things to Do

How to Celebrate LGBTQ Charlotte Outside of Pride

Where to go and what to do when Charlotte Pride isn't taking over Uptown's streets.

While the in-person events at the annual three-day Charlotte Pride festival in August have been canceled this year because of concerns around COVID-19, you can neverreally cancel Pride.

Here’s how you can still celebrate Pride in Charlotte this month and beyond.

Virtual Pride

It’s no secret: The loss of Charlotte Pride this year hits hard. This year is the organization’s 20th anniversary. In-person events are no more, but Charlotte Pride is hosting a slew of virtual events. Past events have included Pride in the Queen City: A Live Conversation with Charlotte Black Pride and Charlotte Pride Leaders, The Women of Pride: A Conversation with Women Leaders in the Pride Movement and The Legacy of Stonewall: A Conversation with Movement Leaders. Check here for upcoming virtual events.

Gay Men’s Chorus of Charlotte

The Gay Men’s Chorus of Charlotte is a group of gentlemen in its 13th season of crooning, and after going to a performance, it’s easy to hear why. This year, though, the group was forced to cancel its annual fundraising gala and its “Big Gay Sing 5: Back on Broadway” concert.

“Certainly the decisions to cancel these events will have a serious financial impact on GMCC and our ability to carry out our mission: to help create a society that values and respects its LGBTQ+ members. AfterDark, GMCC’s only fundraising event of the year, contributes about 20% of our annual revenues,” the organization wrote on its website.

While COVID-19 might keep the chorus off the stage for now, the organization still needs community support. Here’s a few different options on how you can support Gay Men’s Chorus of Charlotte.

NoDa Company Store - Photography by Kyo H Nam

Notable LGBTQ-Inclusive Spots

As COVID-19 has affected in-person events for Charlotte Pride, it, similarly, has affected local LGBTQ-supporting businesses. Hattie’s Tap and Tavern, an inclusive and dog-friendly spot in NoDa is temporarily closed but its online merchandise store remains open. Early on during the pandemic’s onset, NoDa Company Store pivoted its business to selling groceries. As a result, its website now looks more like Instacart’s than that of a bar, complete with the option to purchase a tub of pimiento cheese and a turnip or two. Luckily, the LGBTQ-affirming spot has reopened its outdoor seating for limited guests.

The Common Market, a mashup convenience store and deli with a fantastic patio, Snug Harbor and Petra’s are a trio of Plaza Midwood bars that also aren’t specifically gay, but LGBTQ Charlotteans and visitors alike will find a welcoming space at both of these spots. While Common Market has reopened its outdoor space, both Petra’s and Snug Harbor remain closed. The latter two, though, have frequently offered livestreamed concerts and events.

Elsewhere, be sure to stop by Plaza Midwood’s White Rabbit, an LGBTQ gift shop. You can’t miss it: It’s the fabulously painted rainbow building right on Central Avenue.

Educate

Pride is the annual celebration of the 1969 Stonewall Riots, widely considered to be the genesis of the modern day gay rights movement.

Today, the LGBTQ community in Charlotte reckons with its annual celebration’s cancellation while also supporting communities of color as they protest systemic racism and police brutality. The first Pride was, quite literally, a riot, so there’s no better way to celebrate the event’s original meaning than to educate yourself and take action for oppressed communities.

Charlotte Uprising has become a major force in the movement for a more equitable Charlotte and is a phenomenal place to start.