In just a few days, hundreds of supporters and volunteers, businesses and community organizations have come forward to embrace that Union County is a place where, no matter your race, gender, or who you love, everyone can live authentically with pride. We look forward to welcoming our friends and neighbors to celebrate a very happy Pride!
Building Pride in Union will be a celebration and a place where our community can come together, learn about our LGBTQ+ loved ones, neighbors and colleagues, and enjoy each other's company.
In preparing for this year’s Building Pride in Union festival, Union County Pride, Inc. appreciates the thorough, courteous and professional way in which staff and officials from the City of Monroe have worked with Union County Pride to ensure that the events are safe and accessible for all participants.
However, on September 13, 2022, the Monroe City Council meeting voted to request that Union County Pride, Inc. restrict one planned event - the Drag Queen Story Hour & Crafts – only to persons aged 18 and older. Prior to the vote, the City Attorney informed the Council members that the City Council had no legal authority to restrict the event to adults only because the event is not a “sexually-oriented performance” or an “adult performance.” The City Attorney is correct.
As parents, family members, and community members, we would not do anything to harm children. Contrary to the apparent misconceptions and concerns of the Council members, the Drag Queen Story Hour & Crafts event is not sexually-oriented or sexually suggestive. The event is designed for, and will be attended by, children and their parents together. Through diverse and culturally-inclusive children’s books, will affirm all children and families, the goals of the event are to "inspire a love of reading, while teaching deeper lessons on diversity, self-love and an appreciation of others.”
As a community we support Union County Pride, Inc, Charlotte Area Drag Queen Story Hour, and all the vendors, sponsors, partners, volunteers, and attendees of the 1st Pride event in Union County. As parents, family members, and community members, we will support children, youth, and young adults to express their authentic selves and become bright lights of change in their communities and businesses, organizations to build a community of accepting people who build friendships and business relationships in Union County.
On September 13, 2022, the Monroe City Council meeting voted to request that Union County Pride, Inc. restrict one planned event - the Drag Queen Story Hour & Crafts – only to persons aged 18 and older. Prior to the vote, the City Attorney informed the Council members that the City Council had no legal authority to restrict the event to adults only because the event is not a “sexually-oriented performance” or an “adult performance.” The City Attorney is correct.
"It is baffling to me that this council has decided for themselves that now being who you are is inappropriate. We now need to “protect our children” from people who are being their true and authentic selves… It’s truly disturbing to think that this council has turned something as innocent as “Drag Queen Story Hour & Crafts” into a “Sexually-orientated performance” that should only be attended by people 18 and older. "
"Diversity is not a threat to anyone. The ability to be who we are is an inalienable human right. Just like with anything else if you feel so strongly about something don't do it. But you do not have the right to dictate what someone else can do. Stop pressing your beliefs off on others."
"I support equity and equality among all people regardless of any label. To be a community, there must be unity. Acceptance. Compassion. I hope you agree. I will not help support a county that does not value all its members. We all have rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. "
In line with our commitment to equity we are reiterating our support for Union County Pride, and the LGBTQIA+ community worldwide. This an an opportunity for all of us to come together and to affirm that being authentically oneself is something to be celebrated.
As a former educator, a parent, a statewide advocate, and a candidate for Charlotte-Mecklenburg School Board in District 1.
I wholeheartedly support reading to children and for all to be their authentic selves.
"The fear and resistance to Union County Pride and the Drag Queen Story hour demonstrate the need for this event. Hopefully we can all learn to live together with respect and peace."
"I'd be angrier if I believed that any of these council members actually believed what they were saying. We know they don't. They're pathetic politicians echoing ignorance to appeal to their idiot voters.
Rather than using their platform to promote peace and correct misinformation, they're using it to stoke the flames of hatred.
If violence breaks out, and individuals on either side are hurt, I hope that we can find a way to hold the city council responsible."
"Drag Queen Story Hour poses no threat the psyches of children, nor their development. However, it is damaging to children to send the message that diverse gender expression is perceived as damaging by adults.
City council's resolution is damaging and misinformed. Gender diversity is a natural part of human diversity. Systemic transphobic messaging is one of the highest risks to the mental health of gender diverse young people, as well as damages their gender typical peers.
As a psychotherapist providing care for LGBTQ children in the county, I can attest that Union County has an identifiable problem with hate towards the amazing LGBTQ youth that live and attend schools here. Not only is this resolution damaging, these types of diversity events are therapeutic and needed.
The council's messaging propagates division, hate, fear and disinformation. It is my hope that the under-informed council take time to attend trainings and LGBTQ events to better educate themselves on their biased assumptions as a part of increasing competency and decreasing harm related to misguided attempts to protect the children of our community."
Emily Allen (she/they)
Madison Frank (they/them)
Benjamin Gonzalez (he/him)