Column: Celebrate with Carmel Pride this month

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Commentary by Sue Wolfgang

While I’m humbled by the opportunity to write this column, I’m sad there’s still a need.

Pride Month is my favorite time of year – a chance to celebrate LGBTQ culture, uplift their voices and protect their rights. All because a persecuted community united in protest after the 1969 Stonewall Uprising, transforming that dark time into a commemoration of freedom and equality.

Carmel Pride is from 3 to 9 p.m. June 25 at Carter Green. This family-friendly event is run by a group of incredible high school students with more enthusiasm and drive than you will find anywhere. Their goal? To give family and friends the chance to come together in a safe space of love and acceptance.

I am proud of our city’s record on social issues, particularly the passage of a comprehensive anti-discrimination ordinance in 2015 that includes protections for gender identity and sexual orientation. However, on every level of government and society, there is still work to do. To date this year, more than 600 anti-LGBTQ laws have been introduced in this country, over two dozen in Indiana alone. Hate crime against the LGBTQ community, particularly transgender people, has been on the rise for years. We can and must do better.

If you are a straight woman or man, you might not think you have a dog in this fight. But you absolutely do. There are LGBTQ people you love, even if you aren’t aware of their struggles. Statistically, more than 8,000 of our Carmel friends and neighbors are members of the LGBTQ community. We live in an inclusive city, so let’s celebrate everyone.

Pride Month is a way to learn from the past, recognize the work ahead and rejoice in the future. I hope you will join me in celebrating and supporting the human right to live authentically.

Sue Wolfgang is the Carmel City Clerk and member of the Carmel Pride Adult Advisory Board.

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