A central Nebraska community is bragging about the support their community has for LGBTQ+ people.
Wednesday, June 8, 2022, 5:16 p.m. CDT
HASTINGS – A community in Nebraska is bragging about the support their community has for LGBTQ+ people.
Hastings started marching for PRIDE in 2019, as a private event. In 2019, PFlag started sponsoring him. They then recruited Randal Kottwitz and made it a 501v3 umbrella event.
Although Hastings held back the group event in 2020, last year they saw over 300 attendees. This year, Kottowitz wants to reach 500.
As for overall community acceptance, Kottwitz said that’s also growing.
“It’s getting better and better — it’s always been relatively good unlike the whole country because we’ve had multiple gay business owners. And Hastings is also progressive in the context of the state,” Kottwitz said. “Hastings is the Austin of Nebraska.”
He noted that the community could still add non-discrimination orders.
However, with 27 sponsors, he said attitudes were definitely changing.
“We went from needing to win over sponsors to people asking to participate,” Kottwitz said. He believes there is a positive news reaction to homophobia and Black Lives Matter, which has made people want to support minorities.
The Hastings PRIDE on Saturday June 11, with be at HiGland Park.
“We’re taking half the parking lot and the park, there will be food vendors, a makeup artist, a stage for artists in the pavilion, a free photo booth, free inflatable rides and 46 exhibitors,” he said. .
Hastings used a state tourism grant, he said, to spend $4,000 advertising the event.
“I think it speaks a lot to the town of Hastings that they want to develop it,” Kottwitz said. “The queer community is not used to having government support […] we are definitely different from other communities in the Midwest.”