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'You can't be what you can't see': LGBTQ+ representation in local government

City-County Council recognizes Pride Month
Posted at 11:49 PM, Jun 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-08 23:53:43-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Pride Month is in full swing, and even City-County Council is in on the fun. Council passed a special resolution this month recognizing the occasion.

Kennedy Myers, 17, identifies as pansexual. She knows what it's like to feel unwelcome because of who she is.

"You feel left out," Myers said. "You don't feel like a part of it. You feel like stand out. And even if you look the part, you feel like someone knows."

On Monday night, the council passed a special resolution recognizing June as Pride Month. Special resolutions aren't legally binding, they're more symbolic. The council has passed a similar resolution every June for a few years now. Councilor Ali Brown drafted this year's version.

"Sometimes it doesn't feel like the people of Indiana support us, especially with what comes out from the other side of the street," Brown said. "But here in the city of Indianapolis, we pride ourselves that Indy welcomes all. We are no mean city."

There are now four councilors that identify as LGBTQ+. That is something that matters, according to Indy Pride Executive Director Shelly Snider.

"It is so important for people to see representation of themselves in all sorts of places," Snider said. "You can't be what you can't see. So yes, it's imperative that we are providing role models for LGBT youth."

She also said that resolutions, even symbolic ones, can make a difference in the lives of young people across the city.

"Resolutions like the one that happened on Monday night at the city-county council are really powerful messages to our LGBTQ community that they are welcome in Indianapolis, and that they are worthy as human beings," Snider said.

Myers is going to every LGBTQ+ event that she can this month because feeling like she belongs in her city is the best feeling in the world.

"I've never felt so included in my life. It's relieving having something that makes me feel complete," Myers said.

See our calendar of Pride events.

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