Compass Community Center celebrates its pride at the annual Stonewall Ball

A celebration was held Saturday at the COX Science Center in West Palm Beach.

“Of course, everyone is dazzled, bright and electric,” said Sean Conklin of the Human Rights Council.

This as the Compass Community Center hosted its Stonewall Ball event bringing together LGBTQ+ members and their allies.

“When people come together and love each other like this, it creates hope,” said Tina Louise Slater who attended the event. “Being with the people I feel is like me and everyone expressing themselves as our outfits and each being themselves and celebrating that and the diversity and the different ways of being each other.”

The event celebrates 20 years of promoting their Stonewall Ball Pride within the community.

“It’s a staple for us, it represents the movement. The name itself, Stonewall Ball, represents the Stonewall Riots that happened in 1969 and this anniversary means a lot,” said Julia Murphy of the Compass Center.

The ball comes a day after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, leaving people to worry if LGBTQ+ rights might be next.

“The reality is that equal marriage could be done away with and those are rights that this community has won and fought for a long time. There’s a lot of fear around that,” Murphy said.

“I’ve spent the last two days being really sad and scared and scared and being here is actually very uplifting,” Slater said.

The goal of the Stonewall Ball is to promote an inclusive future for the community by working alongside elected officials, organizations and advocates.

“We have a great coalition of people who are going to be able to come together to make sure that we can do everything we can locally to protect our community from any of these attacks that may come,” Conklin said.

The Compass Center has been in the community for 34 years and said its efforts have only grown stronger as Palm Beach County has become more inclusive.

“We’re here and we’re going to continue, we’re going to continue youth services, family services, senior services, we’re not going anywhere, and our community will support those efforts,” Murphy said.

Participants said it is now more important than ever to support advocates at local, state and national levels who can help the LGBTQ+ community fight for their rights.

Scripps content only 2022

Jill E. Washington