YWCA Dedicated to the LGBTQIA+ Community

Image: YWCA employees at protest to denounce the anti-LGBTQIA+ policies enacted by the Worcester Catholic Diocese.

During a time when organizations are retracting support from the LGBTQIA+ community, it is our steadfast commitment to our mission that allows the YWCA to maintain unwavering dedication.

The YWCA is on a mission to eliminate racism, empower women and girls, and promote peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all.

One blog post alone cannot adequately commemorate this historic milestone of 55 years of LGBTQIA+ Pride Month. The YWCA’s commitment to inclusivity and fairness is reflected not just in words but in our daily endeavors to ensure equity for all members of our community.

As a proud partner of several LGBTQIA+ organizations based in Worcester, we have joined forces in various impactful initiatives:

  • Together, we protested the discriminatory anti-LGBTQIA+ policies implemented by the Worcester Catholic Diocese.
  • We opened our doors to host meaningful events such as the Transgender Day of Remembrance, support groups, as well as a vigil to honor the tragic passing of teenager Nex Benedict.
  • We collaborated and supported the planning and executing of the 2024 Transgender Day of Visibility celebration.
  • We collaborated in an organized screen party of “Intentionally Erased,” a powerful documentary shedding light on the experiences of Black trans women in dialogue with Black cisgender men.
  • We held Community Conversations on the belonging and inclusion of Queer POC (People of Color) in our YWeTalk
  • Signed our support to Pride Worcester in their statement related to the Sutton Connections Conference. The statement denounced the visceral hatred that was targeted towards their drag performance and uplifted the importance of drag.
  • We attended the 2024 Pride Worcester Launch event, reaffirming our commitment to inclusivity and celebrating diversity within our community.

Throughout the year, as we dedicate ourselves to taking action, we invite and encourage your involvement as well!

Image: Event organizers of the 2023 Transgender Day of Remembrance hosted at the YWCA CM. (Love Your Labels, MassEquality, YWCA Race and Gender Equity, Santora Automotives, Chastity Bowick Consulting, UMass Chan, Edward M. Kennedy)

In celebrating the diversity of the LGBQIA+ community and uplifting the voices of queer people of color this pride month, here are some recommendations:

Audre Lorde: Zami: A New Spelling of My Name: A Biomythography eBook
“Poet and author Audre Lorde used her writing to shine light on her experience of the world as a Black lesbian woman and later, as a mother and person suffering from cancer. A prominent member of the women’s and LGBTQ rights movements, her writings called attention to the multifaceted nature of identity and the ways in which people from different walks of life could grow stronger together.” Audre Lorde (womenshistory.org)


James Baldwin: Giovanni’s Room (Deluxe Edition) by James Baldwin | Penguin Random House

“James Baldwin (1924–1987) was a writer and civil rights activist who is best known for his semi-autobiographical novels and plays that center on race, politics, and sexuality.”

James Baldwin | National Museum of African American History and Culture (si.edu)


Kai Cheng Thom: I Hope We Choose Love | Arsenal Pulp Press

“I am a storyteller in the lineage of change-makers, and my message is simple: we need to discover a revolutionary love. I speak this message in poetry, in song and movement, in words delivered straight from my soul.”



Leila Mottley: Nightcrawling by Leila Mottley | Penguin Random House

“Leila Mottley is the author of the novel Nightcrawling, an Oprah’s Book Club pick and New York Times best seller. She was also the 2018 Oakland Youth Poet Laureate. She was born and raised in Oakland, where she continues to live.”


Miss Major: Miss Major Speaks: Conversations with a Black Trans Revolutionary | Verso Books

“Miss Major is a Black, transgender activist who has fought for over fifty years for her trans/gender nonconforming community.

Major is a veteran of the infamous Stonewall Riots, a former sex worker, and a survivor of Dannemora Prison and Bellevue Hospital’s “queen tank.” Her global legacy of activism is rooted in her own experiences, and she continues her work to uplift transgender women of color, particularly those who have survived incarceration and police brutality.”

Miss Major . net


Paola Ramos: Finding Latinx by Paola Ramos | Penguin Random House

Paola Ramos, who is of of Mexican, Cuban and American decent is a correspondent for VICE News and now an author. In her literary debut Ramos travels from the east to the west coast of the United States to connect and speak with people from various Latinx communities. “Finding Latinx” tells and shows the many facets, faces and stories of the LatinX Community in the United States. “

Paola Ramos On Finding And Defining Latinx In America (forbes.com)


PRIYA GUNS: Your Driver Is Waiting by Priya Guns | Penguin Random House

“Actor and writer previously published in short story anthologies, gal-dem, Spring magazine, and anonymously in the Guardian. She is a Creative Writing graduate from Kingston University. Your Driver Is Waiting is her debut novel.”


Rachel E. Cargle: A Renaissance of Our Own by Rachel E. Cargle | Penguin Random House

“An incisive queer feminist voice of a generation. Rachel Cargle is an Akron, Ohio born writer, entrepreneur and philanthropic innovation. Her work and upcoming book with Penguin Random House, centers the reimagining of womanhood, solidarity and self and how we are in relationship with ourselves and one another. In 2018 she founded The Loveland Foundation, Inc., a non-profit offering free therapy to Black women and girls.”



The YWCA is committed to actively participating in LGBTQIA+ events, collaborating with LGBTQIA+ organizations, championing equitable legislation, and standing up against discriminatory policies. Our support will continue.

If you want to collaborate with the YWCA, please get in touch with Levi Ekstrom, Race & Gender Equity Advocate, at lekstrom@ywcacm.org

Image: At the YWCA annual Stand Against Racism breakfast, members of the Love Your Labels board alongside the YWCA CM Race and Gender Equity Advocate and Chief Program Officer.