Johnson County’s LGBTQ Pride Month celebrations moved to October

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OLATHE, Kan. — June is national LGBTQ Pride Month, but celebrations in Johnson County are being pushed back to October. 

The second annual Johnson County Pride Picnic will be Oct. 9 at Sar-Ko-Par Trails Park in Lenexa. The local pride event was canceled in 2020 because of the pandemic. This time, organizers said pushing back the celebration will give organizers more time to plan the event and make sure proper COVID safety precautions are in place. 

Johnson County Pride Association Co-Chair Margeaux Seymour said instead of lining up the local celebrations with national Pride Month, the nonprofit has scheduled the event to coincide with National Coming Out Day. Seymour said the picnic is free to attend and will feature food, music and live entertainment. 

“We just want to have an opportunity for individuals to have a celebration for inclusivity. Whether you’re old or young, have a family [or are] single, to just kind of enjoy a nice picnic out. We want to make sure that everyone has an opportunity to come and be themselves,” Seymour said. 

The pride picnic is funded through community donations. You can find more information on how to donate on the Johnson County Pride Association Facebook page or by emailing jocopride@gmail.com

Seymour said throughout the month of June, the nonprofit will be reaching out to each city in Johnson County asking for public support of the celebration of Pride Month. 

“We have contacted all 19 cities in Johnson County for Pride Proclamations. On our Facebook page you’ll be able to see some of the cities that have already done the pride proclamation or have it scheduled for city council events,” Seymour said. “The reason we are doing it is because it’s needed in some places. Hopefully we can bring in that positive energy and that positive effort for those who may struggle to see inclusivity or representation.” 

Seymour said so far, the City of Olathe is the only municipality that has rejected their request. FOX4 reached out to city staff and received this statement from Olathe Mayor John Bacon:

“Olathe is a vibrant, diverse community. We are proud of that and we know that diversity makes our city stronger. The city receives a number of proclamation requests. A single proclamation doesn’t define Olathe, and I don’t recognize every one that comes across my desk. My office is in a constant process of evaluating proclamations and determining their impact.”

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