I was born and raised in Huntington and it’s been really hard to be gay here but through the years I have seen this community change for the better and I’m passionate about being a part of that and keep it going.

Being a part of the Mayor’s LGBTQ Advisory /Diversity and Inclusion Committee is just one step closer to doing what I want to do for the LGBTQ community here in Huntington. It’s given me a chance to think of new ways to say “thank you” to everyone who has supported the Open To All campaign and seeing those stickers throughout the City and knowing I can go inside those businesses and feel safe is huge for us.

In the future, I hope to do more things to educate people about the LGBTQ community and I want those who are struggling right now to know that they don’t have to be afraid and that there is a support base here in Huntington.

I want to shine a light on the city and thank our allies and let people know that we do have PRIDE in Huntington. The LGBTQ community is here and we want to give back. We want to raise funds for our group but also for the community as a whole.

An example of that is we are doing a food drive in November and December and whatever non-perishable items are donated that week we will take it and make sure it goes to different organizations across Huntington that need those items.

Other events we are doing include our Open To All Bar Crawl, our monthly Drag Me to Brunch hosted by Black Sheep Burrito & Brews, and our Pups for Pride dog wash.

I joined this committee in September and the support we have received just in the few events we have done since then is overwhelming. To see where we were as a community and to see where we are now is amazing. It’s a good start and we just want to keep breaking down those barriers.