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MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Groups work to make Macon a more LGBT friendly community.
Macon’s first Pride event in over 20 years happened last month which sparked an urgency for change.
LGBT and education
Several people in the community partnered to welcome those in the LGBT community. At last month’s Pride event, tables lined Third Street Park with information educating participants on the hard-to-find services within the LGBT community.
Alvin Lindsey works for an outreach program at Fort Valley State University. “FVSU’s program provides education on HIV and AIDS, awareness on the issue and treatment options along with a safe space for students who are in the LGBT community,” he said.
LGBT and community
Scott Mitchell coordinated the Pride event and advocates for the LGBT community.
“The biggest thing is visibility,” Mitchell said. “To know that there are other people, positive role models right here in your community that you can look up to.”
Mitchell, along with other Macon residents are striving to bring more events that embrace those in the LGBT community. Jill Vanderhoek wants to help make a more welcoming community for LGBT people.
“I think within their community, they have very strong bonds,” Vanderhoek said. “But I also think it’s important for us on the outside to be more inclusive and include them in all aspects of our community.”
LGBT and religion
Ben R. Wells is a priest at St. Francis Episcopal Church. He says he found a place to be himself as well as serve God and others.
“A lot of people have been hurt by the church,” Wells said. “The way I look at it, God has sent an invitation and we are getting in the way of people responding to that invitation.”
Wells says that St. Francis welcomes everyone and believes it is important for people to find a place to worship and be themselves.
For more information
For more information on upcoming events or words of encouragement, head to https://www.facebook.com/maconpride