Hey it’s Leslie Harris. Happy Pride weekend!

We celebrated Pride a couple of weeks ago here in Aurora, but this is the big dog Pride weekend in Chicago, with the parade kicking off tomorrow at noon. This is the 50th anniversary of the pride parade. It’s a celebration of being who you are, but it’s so much more.

Did you know that an lgbtq person is FOUR TIMES more likely to commit suicide than the general population? This is largely due to the fact that many of their families have rejected them, and they do not feel as though they belong here. I recently read that if even ONE adult lets an LGBTQ person know that they belong here, it can greatly reduce the rate of suicide.

On June 9th, Samantha James, Mitch Michaels, my 94 year old mom and I went to the Aurora Pride Parade to give free mom / dad / Grandma hugs. Some of the people, especially the young people, had tears in their eyes when I reached out to embrace them and told them that they matter and that they belong here.

Even if you feel that homosexuality is wrong, regardless of your feelings, let’s all embrace our lgbtq brothers and sisters and let them know that we love them.

And if you’re going to the parade tomorrow, have fun, and know that you belong here!

By the way, yes, I DID wear sparkly cat ears, rainbow sunglasses and a sunglass-wearing rainbow kitten t-shirt.

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