A conversation with her pre-teen son was a timely reminder to Bailey Wingler of what’s important to a community. Happy Pride Month, Rowan County.   

This week, while driving through downtown Salisbury, my 11 year old noticed the Pride banners. He said, “I know June is Pride but why does it say equality for all?” 

He has grown up knowing and loving many members of the LGBTQIA+ community. He has friends with two dads and friends with two moms. In his reality we are all equal. But sometimes that equality is blurred and sometimes it comes at a very high price. 

We had a chance to talk about what might happen if two people love each other but do not have the right to be married under the law and how that can impact their rights to make decisions as a family. I found myself feeling so abundantly grateful for a seemingly simple rainbow banner because it prompted a curiosity in my child that ultimately allowed him to look around at the community he lives in and recognize the differences in our experiences as human beings. 

To me, this is why pride month is so important. Not only does it allow marginalized members of our community to openly and freely express and celebrate themselves but it also allows our children, our future, to witness what it means to be an ally; what it means to have representation; what it means to be a part of a community; and to develop a greater understanding of the injustices that have existed, that do exist, and that can only be combated through greater love, compassion, and awareness. 

Bailey Wingler