June 9, 2016

Kerri McCoy, chapter leader of PFLAG Polk County, proclaimed June 13-19 to be LGBTQ Pride Week after county commissioners refused to support the proclamation. Though Polk Pride organizer Scott Guira had submitted the proclamation to county officials, county commissioners declined to consider it and would not add it to the agenda for the June 7 meeting for Lakeland County’s mayor to read.

Taking matters into her own hands, McCoy took the stage. “I hereby proclaim June 13 through the 19 as LBGTQ Pride Week, in honor of freedom from prejudice and bias in any form, and in recognition and praise of those members of our community who constantly fight the battle for all citizens regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, race, color, creed, ethnic origin, or religion,” announced McCoy.

“Since you are unwilling to make your proclamation, I came here to do it for you and ask you next year please reconsider,” said McCoy.

In her speech, McCoy stressed the importance of nurturing an inclusive community for LGBTQ youth, and extended an invitation to the Lakeland community to enjoy Polk Pride.

McCoy is a proud PFLAG mom who stands for her gay son, in addition to serving as Vice President of Polk Pride and working with Lakeland Youth Alliance, which provides a safe space for LGBTQ youth and their allies.

Congratulations to Kerri for her inspiring work and standing up for the right thing!