Dreaming of Queer Futures: Scarleteen Pride 2022

I'm so excited to welcome everyone to our third digital Pride, Queer Futures! To kick off our celebration, I wanted to share all the cool stuff we have planned for the coming weekend, and to say a few words about why we chose this theme.

Let's start with the fun stuff. Want to know what to look forward to, and when to check out⁠ the Scarleteen site and social media channels for the events you're excited about? Here's the schedule!

Saturday, 6/18

  • 10:00 AM EST: Pride kicks off with a raffle on Twitter and Instagram! Tell us your vision of a queer⁠ future using either of those channels, and tag it with #ScarleteenPride for a chance to win a big bundle of goodies!
  • 10:30 AM EST: Get pumped up with our Pride Playlist! You can listen to it on Spotify or Apple Music.
  • 11:00 AM EST: Find some summer reading and viewing media with queer media recommendations from the Scarleteam!
  • 12:00 PM EST: Hop over to our Instagram for the first of the days' mini-histories, featuring people and communities that imagined and fought for queer futures.
  • 4:00 PM EST: Check out our Instagram Live with Stacey Spain of Our Center to learn about what it's like to run an LGBTQ⁠  community center, and what these kinds of centers can offer young people.
  • 7:00 PM EST: Settle in with some popcorn or get comfy in bed for Drag Queen Story Time with Sister Unity of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence!

Sunday, 6/19

  • 10:00 AM EST: Day two of our Pride kicks off with a Pet Pride Parade on our Twitter and Reddit. Do you have a furry, feathered, scaly, or otherwise adorable animal friend? Share a photo of them sporting their best Pride looks and tag it with #PetPride so we can fill a thread with animals and rainbows!
  • 11:00AM EST: Grab some coffee, cocoa, or tea and tune in for Drag Queen Story Time with Betty.
  • 1:00 PM EST: Jump over to our Instagram for some more mini-histories, starting with the work of Lesbians and Gays Supporting Miners.
  • 3:00 PM EST: Join us on Instagram Live for a chat with photographer Jesse Freidin about his work with trans youth and their families in hostile states.
  • 5:00 PM EST: Check out our Twitter to see if you're the lucky winner of the raffle!

We can't wait to see you there!

Why Queer Futures?

In this moment, we are facing not only uncertain futures due to the ongoing pandemic, massive threats to voting rights, and cultural and government inaction on climate change, but to a vitriolic, organized attempt to erase queer and trans people from all walks of life in the United States and other nations. It may seem strange to talk about futures when the present feels so bleak. But here's the thing; it's much easier to hang on, to stay in the fight -- a fight that shouldn't exist but that we're in all the same -- if we can imagine our efforts, community care and stamina will not only contribute to our survival in this moment, but to something better and brighter down the line.

Scarleteen volunteers Mo and Siân have both shared their visions of a queer future in our blogs, and I want to share mine as well.

The list of futures I see is endless. Laying in bed or walking the dog I dream expansively, hungrily, some might say greedily. Some of the things I dream of are already happening, others feel far away. I dream about an art center taking the place of the church that hangs anti- abortion⁠ banners and blared Jesus tunes into my yard for months on end. I dream of having drag⁠ queen story time in our town. I dream of queer spaces woven into every community. I dream of my friends being safe, of  queer-run street fridges and community gardens and of trans kids being left the hell alone to live and grow. I dream of going to bed without worrying someone will put a brick through our window because of our Pride flag. I dream of queers working to abolish prisons and support unions and understand that the structures of power have never been here to protect us.

To me, queerness is not just an identity⁠ ; it's an expansive ideology. It asks us to find new ways of being as individuals and communities, ways that reject structures that exist to benefit a small few and harm a great many. To imagine, demand, and make a world that reflects the diversity of the people who inhabit it. A world in which we do not just survive, but thrive.

And as we continue to work and fight, to protect each other, to celebrate, in this moment and in the months and years to come, I keep that future world close to my heart.