WACO, Texas — June is pride month, a month dedicated to uplifting LGBTQ+ voices and to celebrate love, diversity and acceptance.
The Waco Pride Network has been around just a few years and although they said there's been a surprising amount of support, they said there's still work to do to become a more inclusive community.
"It's really about getting to know people and caring for the people that are in our community," Lucas Land said.
Land is a board member of Waco Pride Network, a non-profit organization that aims to provide a safe space and support for LGBTQ+ people.
"I have a trans kid and I understand that kind of worry about how other people are going to treat your family," Land said.
He said progress has been made, but there's still a lot of stigma.
"When you get to know people and you learn and really humanize the issue it changes things and it really changes how you think about it and it's not abstract anymore," Land said.
Alaina Tarter works closely with the youth and she said they are some of the most vulnerable in the community.
"We just want them to know you are accepted here, you are loved here in Waco and we are here for you," Tarter said.
She said there aren't many resources for LGBTQ+ youth in Waco, but they aim to change that and they're starting a support group for parents.
"All kids really need is love that's really all they want, and they want to be accepted and so there are LGBTQ youth here whether you want them to be or not," Tarter said.
Both Tarter and Land said they need more allies to come forward and for people to continue to educate themselves not just during pride month but all year 'round.
"My hope and my goal would be that we embrace all of these members of our community as they are and for who they are because they bring a lot of gifts to our community that we're actually missing out on when we are not willing to include them," Land said.
Website - wacopride.org
WYPA Summer Pride Dance is June 26 from 7-10pm. Details for RSVP on social media.
The Parent Support Group meets second Tuesday of the month. Contact Lucas Land at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/WPrideNetwork
Twitter - https://twitter.com/WPrideNetwork
Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/WPrideNetwork/