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Asheville City Doubleheader: Celebrate Pride Night With Local LGBTQ Organizations

By Kenzie McDowell, 06/09/22, 5:00AM HST


Asheville City Soccer Club is excited to announce that they will be hosting their annual Pride night celebration at Memorial Stadium this Saturday, June 11. We invite everyone to join in celebrating the importance of inclusion, equality, and allyship beginning with the women’s game at 5 p.m. against Wake Football Club and continuing with the men’s game as they take on East Atlanta Football Club beginning at 7:30 p.m. 

Prior to the games, a pre-match party and gathering will be held starting at 1PM at Dirty Jack's. Starting at 4PM, your South Slope Blues will lead a march from Dirty Jack's up to Memorial Stadium complete with drums, flags and excitement. 

While the two teams compete, four local non-profits will come together with one goal or raising $10,000 in support organizations making a difference in the lives of LGBTQIA+ people. 

All of the proceeds from the night will be distributed equally to four local LGBTQ organizations that are partnering with Asheville City Soccer Club, offering LGBTQ+ services, information, and opportunities in the Asheville and WNC area. These organizations include Blue Ridge Pride, Campaign for Southern Equality, PFlag Asheville, and Youth Outright WNC Inc. 

BONUS: a generous anonymous donor is matching the first $5,000 contributed.

Blue Ridge Pride Center, Inc. was established in 2009 when they held their first festival at Martin Luther King Jr. Park. In the following years, they have focused their efforts primarily on two annual events, the fall Pride Festival and the Miss Blue Ridge Pride Pageant. In 2018, the organization’s mission, geographical range, and programs were expanded. Blue Ridge Pride works with allied communities to provide community events, the virtual pride center, education and outreach, business alliance initiative, community collaborations, and generation plus as a means to promote equality, safety, and quality of life for western North Carolina’s LGBTQ community as these services can be extremely difficult to access in specifically rural areas. Their efforts support communities in 26 counties that go toward creating an accepting, inclusive community as a whole.

Campaign for Southern Equality was established in 2011. For four years, the organization dedicated their efforts to fight for marriage equality in the South, contributing to the striking down of marriage bans in North Carolina and Mississippi and the adoption ban in Mississippi. They promote legal and lived equality where individuals are given equal opportunity regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity on the local, state, and federal levels. In accentuating the experiences and voices of the LGBTQ community and through a list of programs established, they are working toward an equal south and creating protection for LGBTQ Southerners. 

PFlag was first founded in 1973 as the first and largest organization dedicated to supporting, educating, and advocating for LGBTQ+ individuals and their families. PFlag Asheville is part of the national network of PFlag chapters throughout a number of cities and towns in the U.S. It is composed of LGBTQ individuals, their families, and allies that work alongside local board directors that provide support, connection, friendship, education, and resources for the LGBTQ community through peer support meetings, education, and advocacy. PFlag Asheville promotes understanding, combats misinformation and fear, and shares information as a means to support the LGBTQ community and their loved ones. Specifically, PFlag Asheville offers monthly meetings through support groups, tools and information for families and friends in relation to the LGBTQ community, and opportunities for LGBTQ individuals through access to information and resources regarding medical professionals, mental health care professionals, schooling, and legal assistance. 

Youth OUTright WNC Inc. was founded in 2009, promoting the empowerment of LGBTQIA+ youth ages 11-20 in Western North Carolina. They are the only non-profit organization in the region dedicated toward LGBTQIA+ youth advocacy and leadership. In a mission to empower the LGBTQIA+ youth community and prevent bullying, harassment and discrimination regardless of ones sexual identity, gender expression or gender identification, Youth OUTright Inc. actively engages and encourages confidence, resilience, and compassionate community members. Efforts toward allowing the LGBTQIA+ youth community to reach their full potential consist of direct services, technical assistance for youth serving organizations and advocacy for local, state, and federal policy protecting LGBTQIA+ youth.

If you’d like to make a donation to any of these local non-profit organizations in support of the LGBTQ community, you can do so by clicking HERE.

Don’t miss the chance to celebrate Pride night and show your support this Saturday at memorial stadium with your Asheville City men’s and women’s soccer teams!

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