LGBTQ+ Coalition flag raising

Members of The Lancaster LGBTQ+ Coalition, local government, Pride, and community members at flag-raising in Lancaster city in 2019.

The LGBTQ+ Coalition of Lancaster has announced "Stay In & Come Out," an art contest seeking art in various mediums. 

"It's so people can talk about their coming out stories or a time where they felt safe or connected in our community, to re-engage in those type of feelings again," says Karen Foley, executive director of the Lancaster LGBTQ+ Coalition.

Artists can submit in three separate categories - writing, visual arts and mixed media. Submissions are due on Friday, May 29 and can be sent to info@lgbtlancaster.org. The winner in each category will receive a $150 prize.

The Lancaster  LGBTQ Coalition is a nonprofit organization with the mission of creating opportunities for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex and asexual individuals, along with others who identify with the LGBTQ+ community. Since its inception, the group has hosted events including a town hall with state representatives and sensitivity training for employess of Lancaster General Hospital and United Way, according to the coalition’s website. 

The art contest is part of the coalition's drive to do more virtual events in the run-up to Pride Month in June. Lancaster Pride, the yearly event that typically takes place during Pride Month, has been rescheduled to Oct. 24 at Clipper Magazine Stadium.

"I think it would mean everything to a kid who is isolated in an unaffirming home, to see someone celebrating themselves in their full identity and having a whole community celebrating them as well," Foley says. "I think it would mean the world to those kids."

To enter the contest and find more information, click here.