PAXTON — The small town of Paxton in Ford County has joined the still growing list of Illinois communities with a Pride celebration.
From the Facebook event:
All members and allies of the LGBTQIA+ community (all ages) are invited to celebrate Pride in a march on Sunday, June 30. We will gather at Pells Park (700 E Center St) at 11 to begin marching by Noon to downtown via Orleans St.
March with us.
So many of us had to flee our small hometowns to find safety, opportunity, and community in larger cities. Those large cities have had Pride celebrations for decades. It is time to bring us all back to where we began, and where too many young people still feel isolated as they endure hardships. Let us shine the light of Pride everywhere!
We will March along the sidewalk to the north end of Market St. Our destination will be the Arcade Café pride party room for sustenance and music. We will return to Pells Park for our vehicles.
The march will be this Sunday, June 30, starting at 11 a.m. in Pells Park.
Tyger McClure, the organizer of the event, said that the march was starting very small compared to other Prides in the state. They didn’t get permits to block off streets and will instead be marching along sidewalks.
“The event will mainly consist of those of us in the LGBTQ community and allies marching together to show that we exist and that anyone out there who feels alone can know that they have a community,” McClure said.
Paxton is, with our count, the 18th community in Illinois to have at least one LGBTQ Pride event. And with around 4,300 people, it is the smallest city to hold one.
“So many of us come from small communities throughout the state, so it definitely made sense to have a celebration right here,” McClure said. “There are kids, parents, family members, friends and peers watching and listening. Hopefully they will all understand that each and every one of us deserves to be treated with kindness, and that each of us deserves a equality.”