LGBTQ+ progress being made in Peachtree City

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One year ago, on June 1, we placed a small rainbow sticker in the front window of our Peachtree City home. Even though our then-president had for his entire term neglected to declare June as Pride Month.

Because of the pandemic, we stayed close to home; the limited shops in our community boasted no Pride merchandise that we saw. I made do with my treasured “One Pulse” t-shirt (commemorating the massacre at the Florida night club). It was a solemn time.

What a difference a year can make!

Last Tuesday, President Biden formally declared June, Pride Month. A White House statement asserts, “… after 4 years of relentless attacks on LGBTQ+ rights, the Biden-Harris Administration has taken historic actions to accelerate the march toward full LGBTQ+ equality.”

Our window sticker has been replaced with a bright “HAPPY PRIDE MONTH!” lawn sign! We have come across celebratory Pride clothing in local stores! Just today, while picking up “to-go” in a small restaurant, we were greeted by two employees with rainbow hair — we joyfully gushed “Happy Pride!” as we left. Even the cereal aisle in our grocery store made me grin, with a Kellogg’s “Together” heart-shaped, berry flavored breakfast cereal!

I realize that change has been too long coming; and is still too slow. Much damage has been done; and many people have been terribly hurt. Members of the LGBTQ+ community are certainly at the top of that list (along with other minorities in the U.S., including persons of color and non-Christians).

But we are not hopeless.

May I say to my brothers and sisters—

We are supporting you, the best that we know how. Forgive us when we get it wrong.

We are grateful to you. And for you. You add so much to our lives and our society.

We love you.

And we wish us all together a very Happy Pride Month!

Suzanne Sports

Peachtree City, Ga.

28 COMMENTS

  1. You do know the rainbow is actually a christian symbol…which God gave to mankind after the flood in Noah’s time to show his love of mankind. Now rather you agree with that religious symbolism is not relevant. But what is relevant is the hijacking of a Christian symbol to push an agenda of one man sticking his thingy in another mans place where excrement comes out…and call it beautiful and love.

    Now you have the Cartoon Channel showing drag queens celebrating this lifestyle, telling kids about how many different sexes and pronouns there are for the sexes. Hate to tell you this, but biology and science says there are only two sexes.

    • IStand–
      My sister wore a t-shirt today that asserted,
      “When Hate Is Loud, Love Must Not Be Silent”.

      Unthinking hatred such as your statement is an assault on eyes and ears and hearts. Including those of the God you mention.

      Yet above the harsh din of your hatred, our sweet song of Love can be heard. This month we serenade the LGBTQ+ community.

    • IStand …

      You say God put the rainbow out as a symbol “in Noah’s time to show His love of mankind.” You do realize, if you read the Bible literally, this show of love came after God murdered everyone on earth except Noah and his family? “Wow, thanks for the great rainbow! I kind of wish you hadn’t killed all the people and animals instead though.” Is God like an abusive spouse who unleashes his rage on you, but then brings you a gift and promises he’ll never do that again? Cuz, you know, in real life, he will.

      So if anything, the rainbow in the Bible can be a symbol of God’s big mea culpa because he regretted killing everyone, and in a way, it’s beautiful that the Pride movement has adopted it instead as a symbol of everyone’s freedom to live life the way they are, without fear and without shame. That’s a much better thought about the rainbow, isn’t it?

      And as for your juvenile description of gay male sex — if your problem is with the sanitation of the process, did you ever consider that in hetero sex sometimes (and fairly regularly in healthy, fertile females) some really nasty stuff is discharged from the place the straight man “sticks his thingy,” as you so eloquently say? If we reduce romantic love to physical sex and then focus on the tidiness of it, none of us would ever do it! Get a grip FFS.

      Finally, you say, “Now you have the Cartoon Channel showing drag queens celebrating this lifestyle, telling kids about how many different sexes and pronouns there are for the sexes.” To which I say: Good. I wish this had been the case when I was young, and when my kids were young. Think what a more loving and wonderful world this would be.

      You continue, “Hate to tell you this, but biology and science says there are only two sexes.” Biology and science really DON’T say this, though. Have you heard of an intersex person? There are a variety of conditions in which a person can be born with anatomy that fits neither the “male” nor the “female” category perfectly. Nearly 2% of people are born with intersex traits — about the same percentage as there are redheads in the world. That’s not real common, but it’s a good number. Intersex people are born, not created, they don’t choose it, and they exist. So please educate yourself — You can’t speak for biology and science if you don’t.

      Look further in the natural world, and biology and science will show you many creatures who aren’t just male and female. One of my favorites, the parrot fish, can change from female to male when the population needs more males. This kind of thing is not rare! Look it up. If nature can produce and select queerness and diversity in gender and sexuality, we can certainly celebrate it without ignorant people raining on the parade.

      Happy Pride!

      • Yes there are intersex people but very rare. And science and surgery helps those who are neither one or the either . We are humans with a soul. The animal world also eats their young and are cannibals. So should humans follow those examples too?

        I think you and others who are offended by my comments do not like the, “…and a man puts his thingy in another mans place where excrement comes out and calls that love and beautiful?” Its a harsh and disgusting statement I agree.

        But its also a hard and disgusting action…

        • Intersex people are rare, so we fix them or discount them when we declare there are only 2 genders? Hmmmm…

          • Let’s arbitrarily say there are only 2 hair colors as well: blond or brunette. By your logic: “Yes there are red-headed people but very rare. And science and surgery help them because they’re not blood or brunette.” Huh?
          • Didn’t God make the intersex people the same as (you believe) He made the male and female people? If your logic is that God created each person the way they are “supposed to be,” why are you advocating “science and surgery” to change intersex people? If it’s OK for them to change from the (lack of) gender they were born with, why isn’t it OK for LGBT people to change?
          • And I see you were unable to respond logically to this from mine: “if your problem is with the sanitation of the process, did you ever consider that in hetero sex sometimes (and fairly regularly in healthy, fertile females) some really nasty stuff is discharged from the place the straight man ‘sticks his thingy,’ as you so eloquently say? If we reduce romantic love to physical sex and then focus on the tidiness of it, none of us would ever do it!”

          I don’t know why I expected you to be logical about any of this. Homophobia and Transphobia are real, and when fear takes over, it’s difficult to think logically. But let me assure you: LGBTQ+ people are no threat to you or your family. When you can believe that, and begin to let the fear go, maybe you will recognize the fallacies in your logic.

          • “We” don’t declare 2 genders. 2 genders is objective reality. Even in the case of hermaphroditism, a developmental defect, the genetic makeup of the person is distinctly male or female.

            Stop being anti-science.

        • ISTANDFORTHEFLAG–
          Your original statement (“…and a man puts his thingy…”) is not only
          harsh and disgusting, it is unbelievably juvenile and stunning in it’s hatred.

          Frankly, it still causes me to wonder if you are either a third grade bully
          or suffering from dementia.
          If the latter is true, I am so very sorry for you and I wish you all good things for the future.

          Otherwise, the only action I find “hard and disgusting” is yours, in
          writing such a comment. The shame is all yours.

          • PTCitizen, you say, “2 genders is objective reality. Even in the case of hermaphroditism, a developmental defect, the genetic makeup of the person is distinctly male or female.” But this is not true. “distinctly male or female” is not even really true of people cisgender people who identify as male or female — “Science” tells us genetics, neurobiology, and endocrinology all play a role in our gender and our biological sex, which is not immutable.

            Anyone saying there is only male and female, the end, is the one closer to being anti-science.

          • VJax–Thank you for this.

            I offer a concurring thought from our spiritual father, Richard Rohr–
            “Binary genders (male and female) are more an imposition of our dualistic minds than the nature of reality.”

            The Franciscan priest adds– “Fear of difference creates a very constricted, exclusive, and small religion and life, the very
            opposite of what God invites us to.”

            May our love and inclusion continue to expand; over- sized and multi-colored and joyous, just like our infamous clown shoes!

  2. Just remember that one person or group’s ‘progress’ is someone else’s TOTAL DISGUST and DISDAIN! There can NEVER BE ‘PROGRESS’ made on something that is FUNDAMENTALLY IMMORAL and DEGENERATE and which VIOLATES THE COMMANDMENTS and ENTREATIES of Almighty God. How very sad indeed!

    • How right you are! There never SHOULD be progress made on something that is fundamentally immoral and degenerate — such as the attitude that LGBTQIA folks are evil by their very nature and should be denied human rights and civil rights and are a cause for disgust. What a horrifying tack that is to take, and how it flies in the face of the ULTIMATE COMMANDMENT OF ALMIGHTY GOD as Christians believe in Him: asked what is the greatest commandment, Jesus Himself said the law and the prophets all hang on this … “Love God and love your neighbor as yourself.”

      When you truly follow the commandments that Christ laid out for us, to love God and love other humans, you will always steer clear of anything “fundamentally immoral and degenerate,” such as TOTAL DISGUST and DISDAIN for your LGBTQIA brothers and sisters and non-binary siblings. You will be safely doing exactly as Christ commanded and loving those folks just as you love yourself.

      (Which maybe, for you Crashing Boulder, you DO love LGBTQIA people as much as you love yourself? And it shows? If this is the case, if your own self-loathing and feelings of inadequacy make it hard for you to love someone else that you judge is a moral failure — we often hate in others what we see in ourselves — I suggest you try to see yourself as Christ sees you: good, holy, righteous, worthy, BELOVED! When you are full of the love of God for yourself, it will flow out onto others and really help you obey those critical commandments of Christ: to love God, and love others. You can do it because you ARE LOVED. Good luck!)

    • May I, Crashing Boulder?…let me take a look at your deduction here…it’s usually–yep! here you go–you neglected to figure in
      God’s love for His children! ALL Her children. Happens a lot… no problem…we’ll just factor in that boundless love …and there you go! It wasn’t “disgust” and “disdain”–it was “Delight”! A+!

    • Do you imagine that you are without sin? Because if you are a real Christian, you know you’re not. So then do you imagine that your sin is lesser than the sin of homosexuality? Because if you have studied your bible, you know it is not. The price for all sins is the same: death. The redemption for all sins is the same: Christ’s suffering and death on the cross.

      As Christians, our struggle is to move away from sin and towards Christ. True degeneracy is being forgiving with yourself and strict with others. True progress will be when you focus more on caring for sinners than condemning them. After all, we are all sinners before Christ.

      For homework, read Matthew Chapter 7. And ease up off the caps lock key.

  3. Suzanne,

    I grew up in Fayette County but I moved to Midtown Atlanta the day after my high school graduation…

    I love my life in the city, but after nearly a decade of living in the heart of metropolises across the globe from Miami to New York, and even Moscow, Russia; I found myself growing tired of big city life and the problems that go along with it, e.g. crime, homelessness, etc.

    I still have a condo in Midtown, but when the pandemic hit and the entire city shut down I came out to stay with my parents in Peachtree City for the company and social support that every human being requires.

    I tried returning to the city throughout the pandemic but found myself coming back to PTC because I realized there is an urban cadence to life with the golf carts and the 180ish miles of trails that I enjoy. I don’t own a car, I don’t want one; I have built my entire existence around walking and using the MARTA subway/rail instead of spending countless hours of my life stuck in traffic.

    I noticed the small pride flag in your window last summer, and it caught me off guard in the best way possible… Over the last year, I have been debating whether or not to buy a house here, the pace of life out here is a bit slower than I would like, but PTC has a culture and lifestyle that I know I would enjoy when I am older and ready to retire in 40ish years.

    I have been considering selling my condo in the city and purchasing a home out here, I had been hesitant because of my experience growing up in the Bubble and dealing with the old-school mindset and bigotry that individuals like mr_wing_t embody…

    I noticed your sign the day you put it out, and it made me smile just like the smaller 6″ x 8″ rainbow flag you had in the window.

    Last month, I went into Petco and was caught off guard by the pet product Pride display they had in the center of the store; it was a pleasant surprise.

    Thank you for the letter to The Citizen, I officially put my condo on the market today so I buy a place here.

    mr_wing_t is an adherent to the ideals of the Third Industrial Revolution and what he does not realize is that we have transitioned into a new technological epoch; the rise of the Fourth Industrial Revolution is the greatest threat to the status quo of straight white male privilege and the good ole boy network of the South that has kept him and his posse of friends in power for far too long.

    I am a California Silicone Valley Republican with little to nothing in common with the backwoods Deep South Republicans that call the Bubble home.

    There’s a lot that needs to change, and in the next few years, I will officially declare my candidacy elected office in Peachtree City running on a platform of community Digital Transformation and strategic public-sector technology governance.

    He knows damn well being gay is not a ‘lifestyle choice, he just refuses to admit it because, at the end of the day, he fears the emerging wealth, influence, and power of digital natives so, instead of embracing the virtues of diversity and inclusion, he has chosen to the path of internet troll to vent his frustrations.

    Sincerely,

    Russian Hacker

    • Hey, Russian Hacker–
      Brilliant! Welcome to the community!
      I hope you are happy, wherever you call home.

      And thank you for your comments.
      One of my faults is getting discouraged when I feel change is not occurring quickly enough. I feel certain most of my neighbors would prefer that I go along with the status quo in our conservative area. (Just ask my beloved priest!).

      People like you give me hope.

      Best of luck in the future.

  4. How beautiful to see this hopeful, happy letter to the editor! Thank you Suzanne for celebrating the great strides being made by our LGBTQIA brothers and sisters and non-binary siblings! 😊😀💜🌈

    As Wing’s unhinged response shows, we are not all there yet, but inclusion and equality are surely up ahead, and we will get there together! Happy Pride y’all!

  5. Why is a lifestyle choice celebration month worthy of mention from the most powerful man in the world? Because they want to cram their view on morality down your throat, that’s why. I’m sure I’ll get called a hate-monger for disagreeing with the importance of Pride Month. But I’m going to rant anyway.

    Did you know June is also……
    National Give a Bunch of Balloons Month; National DJ Month; African-American Music Appreciation Month; National Zoo and Aquarium Month; Men’s Health Month; National Accordion Awareness Month;
    National Adopt a Cat Month; National Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Month; National Candy Month; National Camping Month; National Caribbean American Month; National Country Cooking Month; National Dairy Month; National Great Outdoors Month; National Headache and Migraine Awareness Month; National Homeownership Month; National Iced Tea Month; National Papaya Month; National Pollinators Month;
    National PTSD Awareness Month; National Safety Month; National Soul Food Month; Rose Month; Turkey Lovers Month; Sports America Kids Month; Women’s Golf Month; Children’s Awareness Month; Student Safety Month; Potty Training Awareness Month; Fight the Filthy Fly Month; Fireworks Safety Month; Dairy Month and Dairy Alternative Month; and National Hunger Awareness Month.

    I dare to bet you that there are more lactose-intolerant Americans than there are LGBTQ+ Americans. And Potty Training affects us all where as LGBTQ+ only affects a small fraction. Shouldn’t Biden mention the advances in Potty Training before mentioning the LGBTQ lifestyle? And we ALL need to be celebrating National Fresh Fruit and Vegetable month……seems we’ve celebrated Little Debbie and Mrs. Winners too long and for the overall health of our nation, celebrating celery sticks and blueberries seems very appropriate and like it would offer more long-term benefits than celebrating a lifestyle choice.

    But I digress. Go have a happy month, whatever meaningless holiday you all celebrate. Meanwhile I’ll be putting out my Happy Turkey Leg Lovers Month yard sign. I hope I didn’t offend the LGBTQ turkeys with my rant. Just kidding. You’ll be offended anyway. (CFA neighbors – please don’t tear down my turkey sign and replace it with an Eat Mor Chikin sign…..you know we love you more than turkey).

    • the_wing_t–
      I suppose the short answer to “Why mark Pride Month?” is that LGBTQ+ folk encounter people like you–that is, ignorant with a pronounced cruel streak–every day of all twelve months, yet they do not become discouraged. That is enough to support and celebrate.

      I am no expert, but I know (and I suspect you actually realize)
      that sexual/gender identity is not “a lifestyle choice”. Nor an illness to be endured. Nor a mental condition to be cured. As
      are many of the subjects you listed above, along with occupations, activities, tastes, etc.
      Sexual/gender identity is who we are. And as a follower of the Universal Christ, I find the variety beautiful and inspiring.

      Sadly, your ignorance and opinions can carry tragic repercussions.
      But mostly to your own self.
      As in the parable of The Prodigal Son, you are standing outside of the tent, ranting, with the older brother, missing a joyous occasion.

      Get your Pride on, the_wing-t, and join the party!
      ALL are welcome!

    • Wing, you begin your rant … “Why is a lifestyle choice celebration month worthy of mention from the most powerful man in the world? Because they want to cram their view on morality down your throat, that’s why.”

      Of course you understand that LGBTQIA people don’t “choose” their sexuality/gender any more than you chose yours. (Imagine if you had two dads and had to “come out” to them that you are straight, and their reaction was: “That’s a lifestyle choice we don’t approve! If you think you’re going to live under our roof and date the opposite sex, you’re wrong! Get gay or get out!” That would be wholly ridiculous, right? You couldn’t MAKE yourself be gay…so…? It’s that silly to claim queer folk can change or choose how they love. Decades of so-called conversion therapy on the part of good Christian families has proven that: it doesn’t work.)

      But to the meat of your opening salvo: “they” are trying to cram their morality down your throat: yes, we are. And what is that morality we want to force on you? I think it can be summed up like this…

      “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

      Think of all the stories, all the movies, all the love songs, all the Valentines that celebrate romantic love between a man and a woman—all the ways heteronormativity is celebrated in our society every week of every month of every year! You don’t see it because you’re a fish swimming in the ocean of it…but it’s there, it’s our “normal” every day.

      So is one month to celebrate queerness really so much to ask if you love your LGBTQIA neighbor as you love yourself? No! In fact, if you let me cram that morality down your throat, if you really embrace the gospel ethos of loving all humankind, you will find yourself so happy to join in the celebration!

      Instead of wanting to make cranky rants about Pride Month, you’ll feel like dancing with your brothers and sisters and non-binary siblings in pure love and joy!

      Come on in! The water’s fine! 😀🌈💜❤️💙💛💚💜🖤🤎

    • Just to be clear, it’s not the gay community trying to shove their morality down your throat. More often then not, it’s a very small but vocal group of activists and self-proclaimed “allies”. I have never known a single one of my friends who happen to be LGBT who wanted anything other than to have their privacy respected and to be treated with common decency. Sadly, their personal and private lives are being exploited by people seeking self aggrandizement.

      As to “why June”… it grew out of the Christopher Street Liberation Day observance, which marks the June 28th 1969 Stonewall Riots in NYC. This was a pivotal event that saw the creation of a broad effort at sustained advocacy to decriminalize homosexuality and end government sanctioned violence against homosexuals. Its honestly the only observance among the ones you listed which has a tangible connection to the month of June.

      • Thanks for the history, PTCit. Well done reminding us of Stonewall and your assertion that June for Pride Month makes sense in that light.

        And I am sure you have your finger on the pulse of these Pride Month shenanigans as well: I mean, because what LGBTQIA person would actually want to be treated with human dignity and have the same civil rights as other Americans? It’s just their allies who want that for them — what the LGBTQIA people really want for themselves is to be left alone, to be the victims of hate crimes, to be barred from military service and passed over for other jobs they’re qualified for, to be prohibited from competing in the sports they excel in, to be the butt of jokes by homophobes, to be kicked out of churches, to be rejected by their families of origin, etc. They don’t even want a Pride Month or a remembrance of Stonewall at all. And they wish all their so-called allies would just leave them alone! Checks out.