Beth Finder and Jill Aul.
Credit: Beth Finder & Jill Aul

This week, we congratulate PFLAG St. Charles on its inaugural Pride event! To kick off Pride Month (all of June!), Beth Finder and Jill Aul successfully launched St. Charles Pride last Sunday.

Reported over here at St. Louis Public Radio, Beth and Jill were tabling at Pride Fest St. Louis when they decided it was time for a Pride event in St. Charles. Puzzling over the lack of a Pride event in their home area, Beth asked Jill, “Is it because they were afraid of the backlash, that there really aren’t that many people who are accepting, other than those within their own social network that they have?” Jill and Beth knew there were LGBT people and supporters in relatively conservative St. Charles, and that a Pride event could bring them together.

St. Charles Pride included an opening ceremony, vendor booths, food trucks and St. Louis performers. The Balloon Brigade, a staple of St. Louis Pride Parade, participated. It connected those in rural areas to vital resources and support.

The St. Louis Balloon Brigade. Credit: Cindy Betz.

Jill reflects, “People who live more north and west of St. Charles, people who live in Lincoln County and Warren County and places like that, who may not be able to get downtown, we’re hoping it [was] helpful to them.”

Congrats on kicking off Pride Month in St. Charles! Here’s to a month full of advocating for and affirming our LGBT friends and families.