The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) was banned from the Cincinnati, Ohio St. Patrick’s Day parade this year.
Crystal, a GLSEN member, spoke to CNN about the parade. Though the group was banned a few days before the event, news spread like wildfire around social media that GLSEN was banned and it didn’t stop many people from still showing support for the LGBT community.
“I feel wonderful,” Crystal said after the parade. “A little heartbroken they didn’t allow us to march in the parade, but we’ve gotten a lot of support and it’s just heartwarming to see all the support.”
Right after being notified of the ban, GLSEN members called the local councilman and urged others to drop out of the parade. A couple of groups, like the firefighters and some councilmen, did drop out, while others stayed in but held up signs of support.
Though GLSEN was banned from this parade, Crystal emphasizes that the organization will not stop spreading the message of love.
“Whether you’re out or haven’t come out yet, know that there are lots of people that love and support you,” Crystal said. “And don’t be afraid to reach out and don’t let any naysayers push you aside. And don’t stay invisible.”