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Pride in Peru

BY CAROLINE EGGERS - ceggers@perutribune.com

In honor of LGBTQ Pride Month, a few local leaders discussed the possibility of Peru becoming home to a celebration of love.  

“We will embrace what the community wants,” said Miami County Chamber of Commerce President Sandy Chittum.

Mayor Gabe Greer said it’s difficult to grasp a pulse of the area’s LGBTQ scene because it’s practically invisible—even individuals who come out to family and friends sometimes avoid publicly coming out to the community.

But that doesn’t mean Peru isn’t open, or community members wouldn’t welcome festivities that acknowledge the diversity of sex and love.

“We want to be inclusive to people and make them feel safe and welcome in Peru,” Greer said.

In response to a Facebook post requesting public comment on the possibility of a pride celebration, ReDiscover Downtown Peru Second Saturdays coordinator Kassi Kotkosi replied that she was “here as an ally!”

The LGBTQ community unofficially deemed June as Pride Month to commemorate the anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion on June 28, 1969—when LGBTQ patrons of some New York City bars fought back against police raids. Some historians say this event triggered national activism for LGBTQ equality.  

Former President Barack Obama officially deemed June as National Pride Month in 2009, and the tradition lasted through 2016.

President Donald Trump did not recognize the month of June as LGBTQ Pride Month in 2017, or in 2018, but that didn’t stop people around the nation from celebrating.

Nearby, Indianapolis hosted its annual Pride Festival on this past Saturday, and Fort Wayne Pride will occur on July 27-28 at Headwaters Park in downtown Fort Wayne.

And the question of whether Peru is added to the list of towns that celebrate pride remains up to the citizens of Peru.

“If there is a group that wants to create a pride event, then the tourism bureau will do what we can to help,” Chittum said.