Happy Pride Day Decatur, Illinois
I want to thank the organizers, volunteers, and sponsors who put together Decatur Pride Fest 2022. A wonderful time was had by the hundreds who were in attendance to celebrate our city’s Pride Day on September 17.
Unfortunately, in the days leading up to the event, the city council, organizers, and sponsors received correspondence that reminds us that intolerance and hate is still present in our city. Thankfully, intolerance and hate can and will be overcome by acceptance, affirmation, and love.
On Decatur’s Pride Day, we celebrated our acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community in our city, we affirmed the members of the LGBTQ+ community and their families, and we showed our love for the LGBTQ+ community for who you are and for the positive contributions that you bring to Decatur every single day.
The hate and intolerance that was shown by some members of our community is not only a direct threat to the LGBTQ+ community, their families, and allies, but also threatens the long-term vitality of our city. Cities that embrace diversity are poised to thrive, and the many employers, social service agencies, and the faith community that were present at Pride Fest demonstrated their acceptance of a diverse community and their desires for a diverse workforce. For those that weren’t present, there is an opportunity to do more in the future.
For example, the City of Decatur has the opportunity to show its commitment to diversity, and how the work of the Human Relations Commission attempts to stop worker discrimination. The park district might highlight its organized activities that may be interest and the Decatur Police Department could feature ways that members of the LGBTQ+ community can protect themselves from harassment and threats. As employers in Decatur struggle to fill available jobs, those that embrace diversity, and provide resources for a diverse workforce, are the ones poised to have a successful future in our city.
Decatur Pride Day is a day of celebration for the LGBTQ+ community, family members, and allies. May Pride Day and everyday bring joy, happiness, affirmation, peace, and love.