Digital Exclusive: Standing together in Scranton

Digital Exclusive
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SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — On the heels of Pride Month, the LGBTQIA community stands hand in hand with Black Lives Matter and the entire black community in NEPA.

“So we’re bringing together two of the, probably, most oppressed in the area and in the world,” Savannah Drummond, founder of Create Change FTP, said.

A blistering sun beats down on the first official event by activist group Create Change for the People. The goal?

“We’re here to tell people the rights they have, what they can and can’t do as a community and we do have a voice. This is our place,” Drummond said.

Calls for justice and equality during these charged times. Signs of support as speakers give their stories and wisdom.

“My parents don’t see me as my other straight siblings. I’m never asked about my relationships. I’m never asked who I’m dating. I’m never told ‘I love you’ by my parents. It hurts,” Joe Farley of Scranton said.

“As a white person, I cannot begin to understand what black people and non-black people of color in this country are going through, but I have seen, firsthand, how racist and hurtful people continue to be,” Shania Burns of Creating Change FTP said.

“I understand that when I walk outside, most people will not know that I’m trans and will not know that I’m part of the queer community unless I tell them. I understand the privilege that we have in that, but we also need to remember that we need to fight for our trans and gender non-conforming friends who aren’t necessarily passing,” Kaiden Haywayrd of Wilkes-Barre said.

No matter their background, a powerful message sent on the lawn of the county courthouse.

“I want to thank you all for being here because you are collectively showing that this area will stand for it; racism, homophobia and transphobia, all of the above,” Amanda Dimossi of Create Change FTP said.

Standing together is a step in the right direction. Tents with information, educational opportunities and voter registration allow for progress. Access for attendees and passers-by to grow more involved with the change they want to see, embodied in Scranton’s first openly LGBT councilwoman, Jessica Rothchild, who was present to fight for the cause.

“It’s really important to me that, as an LGBT community, that we stand together and fight for other communities. The fight for Black Lives Matter matters just as much to us,” Rothchild said.

With information and community…

“Hate has no home here in Scranton,” Farley said.

That message is spreading.

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