I am writing to thank the Press Herald for the June 6 story “As Pride month grows, so does hostility in some Maine towns.”

Gina and John Weed of Thorndike cross Main Street in Unity, a small town near Waterville where dozens of volunteers painted four crosswalks and planned Pride events, including a parade. The response was mostly positive, but a small group that tried to ban Pride decorations on town property has grown to include opponents from outside the community. David Leaming/Morning Sentinel

The work of Diversity in Unity, described in the article, had me reflect on my upbringing in the area.

Twenty-one years ago, I lost a good friend to suicide in Unity. After that friend’s death, there were rumors that shortly before their passing, they had come out to a peer who rejected and ridiculed them. I cannot help but think how my friend could still be with us if they had felt the love and support of their community all those years ago.

I applaud the efforts of Unity and surrounding town residents to celebrate Pride month, despite the resistance by some community members mentioned in the article. Our LGBTQ+ Mainers need and deserve the love and support of all during these divisive times.

Jen VanDerburgh

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