Saturday: Queer Love Summer Cookout

Aug. 26

A little over a year ago I wrote an essay in this paper about attending my extended family's big annual Independence Day cookout with my partner, who at that point had recently come out to my family as transgender. It was her first time presenting as a woman in front of my Catholic grandparents and great aunts and uncles and cousins and second cousins, for one thing; and for another, our first time visiting my family as a same-gender couple. We were nervous wrecks leading up to the barbecue, worried that some of my distant relatives might be weird or invasive or worse. Long story short, it was fine; we had a good time and my family was nothing but warm. But other transgender and queer folks aren't so fortunate and encounter discomfort or outright cruelty at family gatherings, if they're invited at all. The Baltimore Transgender Alliance's inaugural Queer Love Cookout offers a haven—with food and music and games—for the queer community; as the flier reads, "fun for the whole chosen family." Pride doesn't end with a parade. Noon-4 p.m., Druid Hill Park, Chinese Pavilion, 900 Druid Park Lake Drive,, free. (Maura Callahan)

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