Straight Pride Teach-In

Rae Leiner
Pronouns: they/them/theirs

Ariel Churchill
Pronouns: he/him/his

Maria Ramirez
Pronouns: she/her/hers

HVTF Breakout Session 2 Workshop Presenter on Saturday, November 23rd
Straight Pride Teach-In

Workshop Description: What is "straight pride" and why is there a rise in these types of gathering in multiple states in our country? How is the rise of "straight pride" connected to the rise of white supremacy movements in this moment of history? This workshop is multi-media conversation that brings us into the intersections race, class, gender and sexuality to understand these movements for visibility and power in our country.

Workshop Format: This workshop uses presentations w/slide and video clips woven throughout a conversation hosted between 3-5 facilitators in the space. This is an informal conversation that engages the audience to actively participate. Participants may need to move as they are able to interact with the designed experience.

About the Newburgh LGBTQ+ Center: It is by centering the leadership of people that are not traditionally in leadership roles that we decided to take on the endeavor of building a space that centered queer people of color and our allies to come together, have difficult conversations, build, celebrate and manifest the world that we need to live in. Our intersectional lives are being threatened. Our response is: organize, educate and advocate! Our mission: The Newburgh LGBTQIA Center is a hub for resources, education, community building, advocacy, and organizing for more resilient networks. A grassroots organization committed to addressing the barriers that are created by racial, social and economic injustices, centering people of color and our allies by creating visibility and reclaiming power.


Rae Leiner: Artist. Organizer. Radical Dreamer. Creatrix. Strategic thinker. Healer. Rae Leiner is a Black identified multi-racial Queer organizer and activist possessing an undergraduate degree from Antioch College('05). Rae’s professional trajectory is primarily focused on social justice and movements for transformative change. The co-founder and Executive Director of the Newburgh LGBTQ+ Center, an organization created by and for the voices and leadership of QTBIPOC to fight for equity in the mid-Hudson Valley. With over 15 years of professional experience in the not-for-profit field/social justice movements, and 5 years as a community organizer.

Ariel Churchill is a trans-masculine writer and small press editor based in Newburgh, NY. As a proud Appalachian, he is focused in his writing on exploring the intersections of queer, rural identities, and on lifting up marginalized voices in publishing more broadly. He graduated from Harvard College in 2015, where he pursued a degree in English literature and served as Co-Chair of the Harvard College Trans* Task Force. He now volunteers and organizes with the Newburgh LGBTQ+ Center and is happily living his best small-town life with his partner in the Hudson Valley.

Maria Ramirez: Maria has been working with grassroots organizations throughout the Hudson Valley since 2015, and is passionate about fighting for the rights of — and creating space for — people within marginalized communities.

Maria is a first-generation Latinx American and is familiar with navigating different social, political, and cultural arenas. She co-founded the Newburgh LGBTQ+ Center and sits on the board of the Swish Ally Fund, which supports LGBTQ+ organizations engaging allies in the fight for equality.

In her work developing and delivering cultural competency training, she has partnered with organizations such as Hudson Valley Black Lives Matter and Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson to educate and advocate for communities impacted by racism, sexism, homophobia, and transphobia.

Maria holds a bachelor’s degree in International Business from SUNY New Paltz.  She is a travel enthusiast and foodie, and spends her free time with family and friends, or plotting her next adventure.