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Celebrating Pride Month: Honoring Our LGBTQ+ Community in Scioto County

We realize not all of our readers may know about the history of Pride Month. It's celebrated each June to honor the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in New York City, a pivotal event in the fight for LGBTQ+ rights. The Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in Greenwich Village, was raided by police, leading to days of protests and clashes. The uprising became a catalyst for the modern LGBTQ+ rights movement, leading to the first pride marches in 1970; Today it's celebrated worldwide, where we can reflect on the progress we've made, recognize the challenges that remain, and celebrate our diversity.

Portsmouth Pride is June 8 at Tracy Park from 4pm to 8pm

Reflecting on the Progress We've Made

There's been a tremendous amount of progress since 1970, and we're thankful for everyone involved, but here's what President Biden has accomplished in his first term thus far...

  • Historic Cabinet Appointments - His administration includes the first majority non-white Cabinet in history, with the most women ever. This diverse team features the first LGBTQ+ and Native American Cabinet officials, showcasing a commitment to representation and inclusion.

  • Countering Anti-LGBTQ+ Laws - The administration has allocated funds to federal agencies to counter over 300 anti-LGBTQ laws proposed by state lawmakers, actively fighting discriminatory legislation.

  • Support for LGBTQ+ Veterans - LGBTQ+ veterans who were discharged dishonorably due to their sexual orientation now receive full benefits, recognizing their service and addressing past injustices.

  • Extended Fair Housing Protections - Biden extended fair housing protections to include LGBTQ+ Americans, ensuring that discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity is prohibited in housing.

  • Codified Marriage Equality - Biden signed a historic bill codifying same-sex and interracial marriage, ensuring that these unions are protected by law and celebrated across the country.


Challenges that Remain

Living as an LGBTQ+ individual in rural Ohio can present unique challenges. While urban areas often have more visible and organized support networks, rural regions can be marked by isolation and misunderstanding. Misconceptions and prejudices about LGBTQ+ identities can be more pronounced, and the influence of conservative politics, particularly from the GOP legislature, can lead to policies that are harmful or exclusionary.


In recent years, we've seen numerous attempts to pass legislation that undermines LGBTQ+ rights. These bills often target transgender individuals, restrict access to healthcare, and attempt to limit discussions about LGBTQ+ issues in schools and public libraries. The persistence of such efforts contributes to a hostile environment that makes it difficult for LGBTQ+ individuals to live openly and safely; Additionally, the LGBTQ+ community struggles with higher rates of mental health and substance abuse issues. If you or a friend are struggling, please visit our LGBTQ+ resources at the bottom of this article.


Celebrating our Diversity

Thanks to local groups like AppalAction and Scioto Connect, Scioto County has Portsmouth Pride to look forward to on June 8th at Tracy Park from 4pm-8pm. This event is a wonderful opportunity to come together and celebrate our LGBTQ+ community. There will be live music, drag performances, food vendors, local organizations (like us), and plenty of activities for everyone to enjoy. Portsmouth Pride is not just a celebration but also a powerful statement of solidarity and support for equality and inclusion in our county. There will even be a march starting from the Vern Riffe Center at 3:30pm leading to the festivities at Tracy Park. We hope to see you there!


LGBTQ+ Resources

  • Equitas Health Portsmouth Office (740-529-0018) - Offers Mental Health & Recovery Services, HIV advocacy, HIV testing, PrEP connection, and support groups Equitas Health 1615 Chillicothe St. Suite A. Portsmouth, OH 45662

  • LGBT National Hotline (1-888-843-4564) - Serving callers of all ages (youth and adult). Peer-counseling information and local resources

  • LGBT Elder Hotline (1-888-234-SAGE) - Serving senior callers. Peer-counseling, information and local resources.

  • Scioto County Public Libraries (740-354-5688) - While they do not explicitly offer LGBTQ+ services, they have resources on-hand for anyone of any age to access with or without a library card (in the library) and are excellent researchers, with the ability to get additional resources from other library locations.

  • Trans Lifeline (1-877-565-8860) - Trans Lifeline is a 501c3 non-profit dedicated to the well-being of transgender people. The hotline is staffed by transgender people for transgender people. Trans Lifeline volunteers are ready to respond to whatever support needs members of our community might have.

  • The Trevor Project (1-866-488-7386) - Founded in 1998 by the creators of the award-winning short film TREVOR, The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) young people ages 13-24.

  • Bravo (1-866-862-7286) - Survivor advocacy and assistance regarding hate crimes, discrimination, domestic violence, and sexual assault. BRAVO is a founding member of the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP).


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