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Letters: June Pride Month in Marathon County would be step in right direction

in News/Opinion

Dear editor,

Proud Theater-Wausau is proud to serve LGBTQ+ youth, allies and residents in communities throughout Wisconsin, including Marathon County.

Through Proud Theater-Wausau, we served 15 youths through our weekly programming and reached 300+ community members through our end-of-year performance at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Community Banquet, and our educational programming. We are proud to be an active member of the Wausau and greater Marathon County community.

We proudly support the proposal for Marathon County to formally recognize June as Pride Month and hope to see it pass the full County Board. We work with marginalized members from around Marathon County throughout the year and know the positive impact that this will have. Queer people still face a great deal of oppression. Though we have achieved marriage equality, many people still face harassment daily. And though there are protections from discrimination due to sexual orientation in Wisconsin, transgender people still are not protected from discrimination in employment, education or housing in this state. Not only is there a lack of protections at the state level, but we continue to see a push for rolling back protections at the federal level.

There are countless studies that provide data showing the impact that daily harassment and discrimination have on queer youths. They are far more likely to consider and attempt suicide than their straight and cisgender peers, and are far less likely to feel accepted and included. While one statement by the County Board may not address all of the systemic oppression that the queer community continues to face, it is a step in the right direction. By recognizing June as Pride Month, Marathon County recognizes the struggles that the queer community still faces. In doing so, the county defies hate and celebrates diversity. For these reasons and countless more, we proudly support this proposal. We urge members of the Marathon County Board to support it as well.

Brian Wild, executive director; Dana Gordon Rowe, board president; Grace Novie Stolen, board vice president and Wausau operations manager

Editor’s note: The views of our readers and guest columnists are independent of this newspaper and do not necessarily reflect the views of Wausau Pilot and Review. To submit a letter, email us at editor@wausaupilotandreview.comor mail letters to 500 N. Third St. Suite 208-8; Wausau, WI 54403.

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