Pride Group Plans Conversations, Classes In Lawrenceburg
By Mike Perleberg
Ohio River Valley Pride Coalition is planning to events in Lawrenceburg in September. Photo courtesy of ORVPC.
(Lawrenceburg, Ind.) – Two events aimed at boosting the acceptance of LGBTQ+ residents of southeastern Indiana will be hosted in Lawrenceburg next month.
Ohio River Valley Pride Coalition was established earlier this year by Shelly Snyder, a Bright woman with a transgender daughter.
“Most people haven’t just sat down and spoke to a trans person, or if they did, they didn’t know it,” Snyder says.
ORVPC and the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana will hold an event called “Trans in Indiana: A Lawrenceburg Conversation” at the Dearborn Adult Center, 311 West Tate Street, in Lawrenceburg on Sunday, September 10 from 4:00 until 7:00 p.m. The event is free to attend.
A panel of representatives from Lawrenceburg’s transgender community will share experiences and tell how to make Indiana a more welcoming place for all people. Snyder’s daughter, Gwenyth, will be among those on the panel.
“We need to get rid of these stigmas. People think it’s just people playing dress-up or mentally disturbed people,” says Snyder. “We need to educate the public, and by educating the public we can bring these violent statistics down we hope to promote understanding. The average LGBT kid at school hears 23 slurs a day.”
Snyder says the panel discussion will be in a relaxed, non-confrontational atmosphere.
“If you’re not sure about how to ask a question, you’re not sure about pronouns, you’re not sure if you’re saying something that sounds hate-filled but you have a question in there, we’re going to politely correct you and say ‘This is a way you could ask that question to make it sound not so volatile or harsh’ and then we’re going to answer,” she explains.
The following Saturday, September 16 from 9:00 a.m. until noon, ORVPC will again invite citizens to gather at the Dearborn Adult Center for “Safe Zone Training for Local LGBTQ Friendly Businesses”.
Psychologist Dr. Anthony Ooley will lead a discussion on terminology, homophobia, common misconceptions, coming out, skills of the LGBTQ+ ally, area resources. There will also be a question and answer portion of the class.
Snyder says that any individual who comes to the September 16 class will be given an LGBTQ+ friendly sticker to place on their employer’s door or window, with the business owner or manager’s permission.
“The average conservative person isn’t going to know what that little sticker means, but LGBT people look for it and they will know this is a safe place to go and they are welcome,” says Snyder.
More information about Ohio River Valley Pride Coalition’s events can be found on the organization’s Facebook page. You can also follow the group’s updates at ohiorivervalleypridecoalition.wordpress.com.