A new organization has formed to show pride in the Taylor community.
The Taylor LGBTQ + Allies is a private Facebook page for LGBTQ people and allies in Taylor and the surrounding areas. It is a place to meet friends, celebrate, communicate, inform and educate.
"It was started to create a sense of community for the members in the Taylor community and the surrounding areas so they can have a safe space and know they are not alone," said Denise Rodgers, founder of the group. "It's also a resource for allies and education."
To be included with the group, members have to request access. Rodgers expected to only have about 25 people, and had over 100 people join in the first week. Currently, the group has more than 200 members.
"It's a group of love, acceptance and authenticity," she said. "Everyone is welcome and it is a safe space for anyone. Especially if someone is not a member of the LGBTQ community and wants to learn more and know more, it's a great resource."
June is Pride Month, and some of the members wanted to celebrate with an event. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the group decided to host a virtual event, Taylor PRIDE 2020.
"Taylor PRIDE is a grassroots effort led by local citizens to spread love, acceptance and celebrate the LGBTQ + community and its allies," Rodgers said.
On Saturday, June 27, from 7 to 10 p.m. the group will host a Facebook live event on the Taylor PRIDE 2020 page.
"It's local musicians, guest speakers and we will have a DJ dance party," she said. "It is a multimedia mix event that can all be virtual."
The day prior to the event, Friday, June 26, there will be a LGBTQ youth panel discussion hosted by Williamson County Justice of the Peace Pct. 4 Stacey Hackenberg, who is a strong advocate for LGBT rights. Guests can watch live and ask questions during the discussion.
Rodgers said the event was spawned because of the connection people had on the page.
"When people joined the community page, they were shocked to find other people like themselves in the community," she said. "They really felt the desire to get together and celebrate each other."
The PRIDE event is the first of its kind in Williamson County.
"It's kind of ground breaking and we're very excited," Rodgers said.
For more information about the Taylor LGBTQ + Allies group, visit their page on Facebook. For more information about the Taylor PRIDE 2020 event, visit the event's Facebook page.