SOMA Pride 2021 Presents a Month of Celebration and Events Open to All

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From the Maplewood Division of Arts & Culture

SOMA PRIDE June 2021 is for Everyone!

SOMA PRIDE 2021 is a time for South Orange and Maplewood residents to come together AS ONE in celebration of all LGBTQ+ identities and allies collectively united. As we shine a light on LGBTQ+ issues with books, films, discussions, performances, picnics and parties, we mark how far we have come and recognize how much more there is to do.

On June 1st at 7:30pm during the Township Committee Zoom Meeting, Deputy Mayor and Maplewood’s first out and proud LGBTQ+ elected official, Dean Dafis ushered in PRIDE Month with the reading of a PRIDE Proclamation. Throughout June, Dean joins fellow colleagues, activists, community groups, friends, and allies across the State in honoring the contribution of LGBTQ equality advocates, and in celebration of community, AS ONE. Dean says, “In the words of my idol, Harvey Milk, HOPE is not silent. It is spoken through marches and rallies, it’s celebrated in our triumphs, it’s created through our struggle, it’s rooted in our love for one another, in peace, equality, and harmony. I’m truly proud of our diverse PRIDE program this June where we will raise our voices and lock hands after a year of being isolated, silenced and disconnected, after four years of being under attack and on the precipice of yet another big Supreme Court ruling on which our dignity and right to co-exist hang.”

PRIDE celebrations, flag raisings and proclamations are especially important this year. Creating space for visibility and affirmation, and offering opportunity for gathering saves lives, especially for trans and non-binary youth and LGBTQ persons of color.  First transgender non-binary elected official in New Jersey and Vice President of the South Orange-Maplewood School District Board of Education, Shannon Cuttle acknowledges, “So far this year more than 200 anti-LGBTQ bills have been introduced in over 33 states, making 2021 a record year with anti-LGBT legislation targeting LGBTQ+ persons especially trans youth. We need to stand together, in action and celebration during PRIDE month and throughout the year. Visibility matters! Representation matters! It can change lives! It can save lives!”

South Orange Trustee Bob Zuckerman adds, “We are thrilled to partner with and celebrate SOMA PRIDE. This past year has been a rough one, so it’s going to be especially meaningful to come together AS ONE community on June 2nd for our PRIDE flag raising. South Orange is hosting some great activities, including a Virtual PRIDE Trivia Night with SOPAC, and Drag Queen Bingo outdoors on Sloan Street with New Jersey’s very own Harmonica Sunbeam. Help us to embrace our diversity and celebrate with our LGBTQ+ residents and allies during the most fabulous month of the year!” 

Mayor Frank McGehee states, “Maplewood is honored to celebrate PRIDE and to host a multitude of events every June, including PRIDE Fest, and our community is proud to be a leading voice and advocate for LGBTQ+ rights not just in June, but 365 days a year.”

As in-person gatherings begin again with New Jersey’s reopening plans, things are looking bright for reconnecting family, friends and community. In-person event highlights include Lavender Graduation, Equality March & Rally, Youth PRIDE Picnic, PRIDE Mini Film Festival, “This is our Story – A Coming Out Anthology” co-presented by interACT Theater Productions and Pleasant Valley Productions, “The View Upstairs” by Progressive Theater, and a Big Queer Block Party with SOMA Justice, North Jersey Pride, and Newark LGBT Community Center.

“SOMA has a rich, intersectional community that embraces diversity. Not only do we educate, raise awareness and show support to our LGBTQ+ friends and allies, we celebrate big time – AS ONE!
So grab your rainbow and come out and join us!!” – Sheena Collum, South Orange Village President

Visit for updates, details, and links.

Preliminary lineup of events is as follows:
Webinar: LGBTQ+ Legislation and What It Means to Communities and Providers
June 1, 12pm Virtual
LGBT Senior Housing
SOMA PRIDE 2021 – Township Committee Meeting PRIDE Proclamation
June 1, 7:30pm Virtual
Maplewood Township Committee

PRIDE Month Flag Raising
June 2, 7pm Flag Pole at South Orange Ave. & Irvington Ave.
South Orange Village, Maplewood Township
Lavender Graduation
June 3, 6:30pm CHS Auditorium
Maplewood Township, South Orange Village, Columbia High School

SOMA Equality March & Rally
June 6, 10am Ricalton Square to Town Hall
Maplewood Township, SOMA Action, SOMA Justice, Columbia High School

SOMA Youth Pride Picnic
June 6, 12:30pm Springfield Ave Gazebo
Maplewood Township, SOMA Action, SOMA Justice, Columbia High School

Divine Feminist: An Anthology of Poetry & Art by Womxn & Non-Binary Folx
June 6, 5:30pm Woodland West Side Yard
Maplewood Division of Arts & Culture

“In Between Land and Territories – Ali Asgar Virtual Presentation
June 10, 7:30pm Virtual
Maplewood Library, Maplewood Division of Arts & Culture

PRIDE 2021 Mini Film Festival 

“Tongues Untied” Documentary
June 11, 7pm – Woodland Great Hall
Maplewood Division of Arts &Culture

“Pink Boy” Documentary
June 12, 12:30pm – Woodland Great Hall
Maplewood Division of Arts & Culture

“As One” – Chamber Opera Digital Stream
June 12, 2pm – Woodland Great Hall
Maplewood Division of Arts & Culture

“Upstairs Inferno” Documentary
June 12, 7pm – Woodland Great Hall
Progressive Theater, Maplewood Division of Arts & Culture
“One Two Three” Book Discussion
June 14, 7:30pm Virtual
[words] Bookstore

SOPAC Pride Trivia Night
June 17, 7:30pm Virtual

Be Allies to our LGBTQ+ Friends and Families
June 17, 7:30pm Virtual
CHS Spectrum Club, SOMA Two Towns for All Ages
Hilton Neighborhood Association

Virtual Pride 21 – Social Justice Power Hour
June 12, 7pm – Virtual
Bayard Rustin Center for Social Justice

12th Equality Walk
June 12, 12pm – Atlantic City
June 13, 1:30pm – Montclair
Garden State Equality

North Jersey Pride Picnic
June 13, 3pm – Memorial Park Amphitheater
North Jersey Pride, Maplewood Community Services

Big Queer Block Party
June 18, 7pm – Maplewood Village
SOMA Justice, North Jersey Pride, Newark LGBT Community Center

“This Is Our Story” – A Coming Out Anthology
June 17 & 19, 7pm – OSPAC Outdoor Theater, West Orange

June 25 & 26, 8pm – The Burgdorff Center
+ Preshow LGBTQ+ Business & Resource Fair, June 25 & 26, 7pm
InterACT Theater Productions, Pleasant Valley Productions

Conversation with Alex Gino, Teen Author
June 24, TBD – Virtual
South Orange Public Library

“The View Upstairs” Musical
June 25, 26, 7:30pm – Woodland Great Hall
Progressive Theater

Morris County Pride
June 26, 11am – Morristown
Morris County Pride

Family Photo Day
June 26, 1pm – Farrell Field
South Orange Village Center Alliance, South Orange Village

Drag Queen Bingo
June 27, 1pm – Sloan Street
South Orange Village Center Alliance, South Orange Village

Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin with Q&A
June 28, TBD – Virtual Screening
SOPAC, South Orange Village

“Stupid Things I Won’t Do When I Get Old” with Author Steven Petrow
June 30, 7:30pm – Virtual
[Words] Bookstore


LGBTQI+ Artist Spotlights
Social Media/Website
Maplewood Division of Arts & Culture

“AS ONE” LGBTQ+ Youth Exhibit
978 Art Center + Social Media
CHS Spectrum Club, Funky Fun Art, Maplewood Division of Arts & Culture

SOMAtv PRIDE Month Event Coverage
Channel 19 – Cablevision South Orange | Channel 22 & 44 – FiOS South Orange
Channel 35 – Comcast Maplewood | Channel 22 – FiOS Maplewood
Channel 24 – FiOS – Maplewood – Town Government Broadcasts Only
YouTube |
South Orange Maplewood Community Television


The Able Baker

The Apothecarium

Dippy Sippy

The Fringe Salon

The GYM Maplewood

Jennifer McManus Real Estate


Robert Shaffron Real State

SOMA Film Festival

Village Trattoria


CHS Spectrum Club

Columbia High School

Funky Fun Art

Garden State Equality

Hilton Neighborhood Association

InterACT Theater Productions

LGBT Senior Housing and Care

Maplewood Dept. of Community Services

Maplewood Division of Arts & Culture

Maplewood Library

Maplewood Township

Maplewood Village Alliance

Maplewood Youth Advisory Committee

Morris County Pride

MAPSO Youth Coalition

Newark LGBTQ Community Center

NJ LGBT Chamber (nglcc)

North Jersey Pride

Pleasant Valley Productions

Progressive Theater

Rustin Center for Social Justice

SOMA Action Racial Justice

SOMA Community Coalition on Race

SOMA Justice

SOMA Two Towns for All Ages


South Orange Maplewood BOE

South Orange Public Library

South Orange Village

South Orange Village Alliance

Springfield Avenue Partnership

[words] Bookstore


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