ENC businesses and organizations celebrate Pride month

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – June is Pride Month. It’s a time to celebrate lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex pride.

Jonathan Phillips, an LGBTQ+ community member says, “Pride Month is important because it gives people in the community a chance to show their colors both literally and figuratively.”

Phillips, the father of a transgender person told WITN that support is vital to those in the LGBTQ+ community, as well as creating an environment where everyone feels welcome.

“The outcomes for LGBTQ people are so much better when they have family support. It’s important to know that there are safe spaces, safe people, and safe organizations,” Phillips said.

Backstage Coffee, an LGBTQ+ friendly business, in Greenville, works to prioritize inclusivity.

Mackenzie Park, Backstage Coffee Owner, says “People can take for granted walking in somewhere and not feeling safe or accepted or like you belong. I’ve certainly taken that for granted in my life. Being able to come in and see a business, a successful business owner, being openly queer which is why me and Anna scream that and try to be loud about that instead of try and hide it because I think hiding it is detrimental.”

Park says the main goal is to ensure everyone feels loved, accepted, and welcomed. “Be loud about it and be open and be a representation about it because little boys and girls come in here and may think that they’re not worthy and not worth it or not loved because of something that’s a part of them but you can come in here and know that that’s not true.”

Phillips says that reaching out if you need support or resources is key. You can do so at ENC Pride and New Bern Pride.