Tuesday, September 28

A New Source of LGBTQ+ Support Brings Light to Darke County, Ohio

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In the small city of Greenville near the Ohio-Indiana border, a group of LGBTQ+ individuals and allies have formed Beyond the Rainbow, a service and support group that meets twice per month.

(Image from the Wikimedia Commons)

Their mission?  To create a Darke County fully inclusive of LGBTQ+ citizens and allies by promoting a sense of community, providing resources and support, and advocating for LGBTQ+ interests.

With the support of the Darke County Makers Cooperative’s (DCMC) Center for Universal Artisans and Humanities Group, Beyond the Rainbow is working to increase the visibility of an estimated 5,000 LGBTQ+ and allied individuals in this county located on the western edge of Ohio, 35 miles northwest of Dayton.

Beyond the Rainbow is in the process of forming a nonprofit organization separate from the DCMC nonprofit. Founder Scott Snyder said he hopes Greenville and Darke County will offer their first Pride Month celebration in 2022. Snyder said he found inspiration in other small Ohio cities hosting their first Pride events this year. He hopes to use his connections with the drag community in Dayton to offer an exciting first Pride in Darke County.

Scott Snyder sharing the history of the Pride flag at a recent support group meeting.

In July, Beyond the Rainbow gathered for an event to learn more about nonbinary identities during National Non-Binary Awareness Week. On International Non-Binary People’s Day – a day that celebrates the rich diversity of the community – the discussion turned to pronouns and gender outside the binary.

TransOhio notes International Non-Binary People’s Day was first celebrated in 2012. July 14 was chosen because it is between International Men’s Day (Nov. 19) and International Women’s Day (March 8). According to a 2021 study by the Williams Institute, an estimated 1.2 million Americans identify as non-binary, and a full 11 percent of LGBTQ+ adults are nonbinary.

In addition to their non-binary event and their plans for a 2022 Pride celebration, Beyond the Rainbow has teamed up with Project Kindness of Darke County to improve the local community, starting with a park cleanup day at Tecumseh Point Preserve, part of the Darke County Park District.

Beyond the Rainbow recently launched a website filled with resources and support, but also legislative updates to mobilize pro-equality voters in Darke County. The group will host a visibility walk in support of the Equality Act at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 7 in Greenville. 🔥

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About Author

Alissa Paolella is a graduate of E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University, where she also earned an undergraduate certificate in women's and gender studies. She was a news reporter and editor for over 10 years before beginning her second career in corporate marketing communications. Alissa serves as secretary of the Board of Trustees for the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) of Seneca, Sandusky and Wyandot Counties. Her blog can be found at alissapaolella.com.

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