One of the most important roles for a community is ensuring a safe, nurturing environment for its children. This is something that cannot be dictated by a government; it’s a result of the compassion and care of families, friends, neighbors, schools, nonprofit organizations and businesses.
In Orlando, together we’ve been able to create a city that is committed to working to help children thrive not only during their formative years, but also prepare for successful futures. Making sure they feel protected, accepted and valued is a big part of our work. That’s why we cannot take lightly the potential impact of dangerous rhetoric and even hateful legislation aimed at silencing LGBTQ+ students and families in Florida.
I want every member of Orlando’s LGBTQ+ community, including the young residents who need our support now more than ever, to know that in our city you are loved, you are valued, and you are also seen and heard. Orlando’s collective unity, love, and compassion — as well as the example that we’re setting for other cities around the state and the nation — will not be suppressed.
Our community will continue to celebrate our diversity while putting equity and inclusion at the forefront of all that we do. Orlando will still be a place that encourages all residents to be their authentic selves.