‘A beacon of equality here in St. Joe County’

Village president pro-tem wants Colon to officially recognize June as Pride Month

President Pro-Tem of the Colon Village Council Eddie Leboeuf plans to introduce a resolution tonight to officially recognize June as Pride Month in Colon, a distinction Leboeuf says is long overdue.

“In Colon and all communities here in Saint Joe County we have some very talented people from the LGBTQ+ community living as our friends, family, and neighbors,” Leboeuf said. “I wrote this resolution as a long overdue recognition of the accomplishments and struggles by our LGBTQ+ community members. It is my hope that Colon is seen as a place that celebrates diversity and equality. When people come to visit our town, I want them to know we are a town that welcomes everyone. 

“I see celebrating Pride in the month of June as an economic opportunity for Colon as well. Having a celebration in Colon would attract people from the surrounding area to our theaters and restaurants. I also wrote this for several of my friends who have faced discrimination here in their hometown. I want them to know that here, we will stand side by side with them in the face of people that wish to bring them harm. It is my belief that this resolution will make Colon a beacon of equality here in St. Joe County.”

Colon resident James Gray said he believes the resolution would have a positive effect on the local economy, and let the LGBTQ+ community know “we care about them.” Gray and his partner Jacob Hagan co-own Farrand Hall, an event venue and Airbnb rental in Colon.

“I’m happy to see that we can take steps to acknowledge people right here in Colon,” Gray said. “It’s a statement that will make more people feel comfortable. Farrand Hall, along with all the community theaters, is bringing more diverse and progressive people to the town. A declaration like this will certainly make a big economic impact. But even more importantly, it tells people we care about them, celebrate individuality, and believe in equality for all people.” 

Tonight’s meeting will begin at 7 p.m. at the Colon Fire and Rescue Building located at 1063 M-86 in Colon.

Alek Haak-Frost is executive editor of Watershed Voice.