Believed to be the first public LGBTQ pride event in Molalla’s history, the community came together to show support for and acceptance of lesbian, gay and transgender people at Lenard Long Park on Sunday.
“We are coming together to show that Molalla cares about ALL our citizens,” organizers said on the event’s Facebook page. “Bring your inclusive flag, wear your favorite Pride attire, or just come as you are. All ages and identities welcome.”
Among the approximately 60 people in attendance at Molalla Pride were Mayor Scott Keyser, Pastor Jon Hughes of Molalla United Methodist Church and Pastor Lorin Darst of Macksburg Lutheran Church.
“Molalla has shown over and over again that we can come together to care for each other,” said organizer Hendy Appleton. “Community is bigger than politics, and this event is just another way we can help show love and compassion for some of our neighbors who feel excluded or rejected.”
Appleton said several young people approached her to thank her for putting on the Molalla Pride event.
“These kids had been afraid to be open about themselves because of bullying and rejection,” she explained. “They had tears in their eyes — tears of joy because they never expected to see any kind of support for them in Molalla. That’s why we’re here today.”
For more photos from the event, see Molalla photographer Dave Jackson’s Flickr page.
The event was originally scheduled for June, which is Pride Month, but was postponed due to the historic and deadly heat wave that struck the Willamette Valley that month.
Appleton said she plans to make Molalla Pride an annual event.
Local LGBTQ resources:
PFLAG of Clackamas County: https://www.facebook.com/ClackamasPFLAG/ (503) 887-4556
The Living Room for LGBTQ+ Youth: https://www.thelivingroomyouth.org/ (503) 825-2535
Canby Transgender Alliance: https://www.facebook.com/groups/399009604212519/
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