In a standing room only event, community members of Taylor County came together on Thursday to tell their heart-filled LGBTQ+ stories to the Board of Trustees of the Taylor County Library.
This public event arose after backlash from conservative community members concerning an LGBTQ+ Pride Panel that took place on June 18 at the Taylor County Library.
The panel, which included discussions with five openly queer people from across the state, is part of the library’s effort to offer relevant community and cultural events.
The community members who spoke to the board of trustees are hoping to keep LGBTQ+ programming alive. Fairness Campaign Director Chris Hartman came out to show support as well.
“It sounds like its time to start talking about a fairness ordinance,” Hartman said.
Folks who have long left Taylor County showed up to support their hometown. Wes Phillips, Lexington, said he was disappointed that this backlash even happened, but is excited to work towards progression.
“I’ve always taken a back seat to it [LGBTQ+ advocacy],” he said. I felt like anything I would say wouldn’t matter, but after today I see things a lot differently. This kind of has me amped up, and wanting to do more”
One after one, LGBTQ+ youth and adults told their stories to the board of trustees. Stories of transitioning trans youth to mothers of gay sons pleading to keep programming like the Pride Panel going.
Alex Brockman, Campbellsville, said she’s grown up next to the people on both sides and has had to bite her tongue on numerous occasions when controversial topics have arisen.
“Being a future educator, I have to really be careful about taking a stance in politics, but for me this isn’t a political issue; it’s a moral one,” she said. “Many people have tried to condemn those that identify as LGBTQ+ by spewing Bible verses that are taken out of context. As a Christian, I believe that it is our duty to love one another as Jesus loves us. It is not our place to judge others (Matthew 7:1-3). Furthermore, there should be a clear division between church and state. Our country was built upon this fundamental principle.”
This is the only safe space I am aware of in Central Kentucky, Brockman added.
The public event wrapped up when the board of trustees needed to meet in a closed meeting with city officials.