Mike is a straight ally. He's a PFLAG dad in Salisbury.
When Mike's daughter came out to him, he was shocked. He worried that he might not be able to walk her down the aisle someday.
Mike looked for ways to support his daughter, but there weren't any options to get involved in Salisbury. Heck, he only knew one gay person in Salisbury. Then he found PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays).
Through his work on the Salisbury Human Relations Council, Mike helped to host celebrations for many different groups in the community. If Salisbury can have those events, Mike thought, why not an LGBTQ Pride?
Mike worked for Food Lion in Salisbury from 1975 to 1991. He says they've changed over time. Food Lion was always a big sponsor of PFLAG, so he knew they would help out with Pride.
Mike expected only a few hundred people at Salisbury's first pride celebration. Instead, close to 2500 showed up. Since that day, Salisbury Pride has been important to the community.
Jody Perry is the IT Director for Marshall University. He grew up in Wayne, West Virginia.
Jody describes his early life in Wayne as a wonderful childhood -- until his first crush.
Jody loved going to church until the day that the preacher said gays were going to hell.
It wasn't easy living in West Virginia in the early 90s. Jody always thought he would move to a big city, but that's not how things worked out.
At Marshall University, students hosted Blue Jeans Day in support of the LGBTQ community. Supporters weren't the only ones who dressed up.
Jody came out for the first time on the internet.
Jody thinks Marshall University makes a big difference to Huntington's LGBTQ inclusivity.