Monday, October 3

In a red Ohio county with a “hidden” LGBTQ+ community, a 2nd annual Pride is coming together

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“It is always possible to do a thing better the second time.” -Henry Ford

And in Lake County, that second time will be this June 11th, when organizers will host their second annual LGBTQ+ Pride festivities.

Though don’t get us wrong: the first time was pretty darn amazing! Over 100 people celebrated Pride in 2021 at a picnic with food and fun for the whole family.

“It was a mixed crowd of generations, ages, [and]  races,” says Betty Jacobs, the founder and executive director of LGBTQ+ Allies Lake County, the first and only LGBTQ+ nonprofit In Lake County. “It was a huge, diverse community that came out, and I was super excited about that.”

This year’s Pride event will expand upon the success of last year’s event with an even more all-encompassing festival. With a plethora of engaging events and entertainment, Jacobs hopes to unite the community and give everyone a chance to celebrate with vendors, food trucks, and activities that will satisfy everyone’s tastes. Attendees can expect to be mesmerized by stilt walkers, drag entertainers, magicians, local bands, balloon animals, bubbles, and even a foam party.

“I hope it brings together the LGBTQ+ community of Lake County, and allies,” says Jacobs.

In conservative Lake County—residents voted for Trump in 2020 by an over-13% margin—Jacobs says so many LGBTQ+ individuals still feel “hidden.”

Lake County Pride thus offers the community a vital opportunity to come together as their authentic selves and demonstrate their support for the LGBTQ+ community.

Through the 2022 Pride celebration, Jacobs says that individuals of Lake County will have the chance to learn from each other and be there for one another, all while gaining a sense of—you guessed it!—pride.

Jacobs also stresses the importance of allies demonstrating their solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community. “Without allies standing up and saying, ‘Enough is enough,’ nothing is going to change” Jacobs emphasizes. “I’m hoping that [we]bring out some of those allies, and try to build that bridge between the LGBTQ+ community and allies.”

Pride celebrations have always been an important way to bring the LGBTQ+ together, and this will be especially true at Lake County Pride this year.

“This has been something that has been in the making for so long, and is needed here for so long,” says Jacobs. “My hope is to just create it and then stand back and hope everybody takes from it what they need.” 🔥

Ignite Action:

  • Stay informed about LGBTQ+ Allies Lake County by following their Facebook page
  • The Buckeye Flame is currently compiling our 2022 Pride Guide. Send us an e-mail at editor@thebuckeyeflame.com with info on your community’s Pride!

About Author

Cassidy Naypauer is a future Speech-Language Pathologist who has always been passionate about writing, languages, and travel. She double-majored in speech pathology and Spanish at Miami University, and is currently pursuing her Master’s in speech pathology at Baldwin Wallace University.

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