For the fourth year, the Tri-State Alliance’s Owensboro Pride Picnic was a place for people to reflect on who they are, the progress they’ve made, and where they want to be.
“I do think the Tri-State is getting more and more accepting,” TSA president Wally Paynter said.
Organizers say it’s an important day for members of the LGBT community to come together.
“And their straight supporting friends to say that it’s ok to be gay and we’re proud of who we are,” Paynter added.
People like TSA coordinator, and straight ally, Mae Hagan
“My dad, he was gay, and he was actually brutally assaulted whenever I was three years old,” Hagan said.
That was a turning point in Hagan’s life, and the reason she fights for gay rights today.
“People can still be evicted from their home if their private landlord finds out that they’re gay. They can be fired,” she said.
“Which is why we have to continue the fight, and let people know it’s ok to be LGBT. We need to work to prevent suicide,” Paynter said.
TSA members are pushing for Owensboro to adopt a fairness ordinance similar to ones adopted in Evansville and Vanderburgh County, which would protect LGBT members from discrimination.
TSA also announced it is forming a youth group, which will meet in Owensboro, similar to the one that already exists in Evansville.