In what has been called the first Pride event in the south suburbs of Chicago, hundreds of people attended a celebration in Flossmoor, Illinois, on June 21.
Lighthouse, a pro-LGBTQ organization for youths and their families founded in April 2016, organized the event.
Jimmy Austin informed Windy City Times that visitors came to the Lighthouse Pride event from Illinois cities such as Frankfort, Tinley Park, Park Forest, Naperville, New Lenox and Kankakee and well as Grand Haven, Michigan.
"Wednesday night, enjoying the beautiful weather, we celebrated outside the community house for over three hours with over 300 people stopping by to show their support from near and far," Austin added. "The outpouring of love and support from the Homewood-Flossmoor community was absolutely overwhelming. We are so lucky to live in such a wonderful, accepting, progressive community, and I could not be more proud to call this place home."
In a speech at the event, Lighthouse co-founder Valerie Litchfield offered "a special thank you to our many generous sponsors, without whom this celebration would not have been possible. I also want to addand this is importantwe didn't solicit anyone to participate. Each one of these businesses reached out to us."
In a note to WCT, Litchfield added, "Each of us can make a difference in the fight for equality. Do whatever you can, whenever you can to make the world a little more accepting and loving."
Homewood Mayor Richard Hofeld of Homewood and Flossmoor Mayor Paul Braun both stopped by the event to show their support for Lighthouse and the local LGBTQ community.
More information about Lighthouse is at www.lighthouselgbtq.org .