June at RYSE: Pryde


While Pride is a time to celebrate being LGBTQ+, it didn't start out that way. Pride was born out of queer resistance against police violence; a riot lead by Black Transwomen, homeless queer youth, gay sex workers, and gender non-conforming communities of color at the Stonewall Inn June of 1969.

We reflect on Pride as a remembrance of the strength and resilience of our queer ancestors who fought for the liberation of all LGBTQ+ people. We also reflect on Pride as our time to continue the work as the next generation of LGBTQ+ youth for a queer revolution.

During June at RYSE Center, we commemorate the history of Pryde Month with community events such as our Pryde BBQueer Kick-off, collective art projects that reflect our intersecting identities, and healing activities that connect and ground us in our queer roots and culture. We learn about how homophobic and transphobic society affects us and how we can come together to dream a loving and vibrant future into existence.

As Pryde Month came to a close, RYSE burst with pride at our queer dance party "Rhythms of Love."

RYSE members came together to celebrate LGBTQ+ love, unity, and liberation through music, dancing, snacks, crafts, raffle prizes, and a drag show by the Rebel Kings.


Pride as in we belong here and we're not going anywhere!

Pride as in love for our chosen families!

Pride as in our right to exist and thrive without being persecuted!

Pride as in we continue to grow and evolve every day!

In solidarity,

Alex de las Mareas
Community Health Program Coordinator

A Poem by RYSErs Marisol and Aja

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My Identity

I’m no longer afraid to express my true colors
They are a part of me
They brought me back to life
My identity shaped into a cocoon
I am not yet my final form
I am warm here, where
My identity, fluid like water,
Reflects the colors of the rainbow after the rain
It is yellow, the sunflower
My true happiness
Sometimes I am blue
As the shadow that I hide behind closed doors
Brown like the soil
That is rooted beneath it all
Where I come from
Brown like my Uncle’s skin, his sexuality kept secret
Beneath whispers “No hables de eso con tu abuela”
It is the color of my abuela’s family home, a vibrant orange
Passed down to her brothers
But through her years of hard work
Finally owned by a woman
A fact more unusual than its hue
The last color, green with growth
As Teul, Zacatecas in Mexico, where the women of my family were born
Where their indigenous ancestors
Once lived, their graves now excavated
Their memories untold
Their traditions long lost through colonization
Marked permanently by a cross atop of
The Caxcan hills where my rainbow begins
But it does not end there
My colors are infinite
There is more texture
Beyond what the eye can see

By Marisol Lara (RYSE Member)
and Aja Lenae (RYSE Music & Performing Arts Coordinator)

and Families Must Be Free


6/27/2018 RYSErs participate during the Day of Action at the West County Detention Center in Richmond

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RYSE opposes any actions, sanctions, or structures that tear families apart or imprison them. The brutality taking place at the border emboldens our determination to ensure our members, our staff, our families, and our communities are safe and free...

June at RYSE:

This month, RYSE also went "All Out For Richmond" canvassing and collecting signatures in support of Measures E & K which will help sustain and grow youth services for our city. During our Election Night Party, we came together with the community to watch the votes come in, and to celebrate the win. Check out photos from the campaign and event, as well as photos from local high school graduations (congratulations, graduated members!) as well as our RYSE graduation for our AMP (Advanced Media Producers) interns. Plus, photos from our first ever Young Men's Healing Institute and, of course, all the Pryde Month events we had through the month!