A town of 6,000 people in northwest Iowa will have its first Pride Festival this weekend to provide information, fun and fellowship for LGBTQ community.
Orange City, the seat of Sioux County, is home to Northwestern College, a Christian liberal arts school. Pride organizer Michael Goll is a Northwestern graduate and graphic designer. Today he lives in Orange City with his husband.
The pair and a couple of friends decided their small, conservative-leaning community needed to celebrate its LGBTQ culture because, as Goll says, “why not?”
"I think nowadays we can make a home in a small town, in this rural agricultural community and still have a really successful life," he explains.
Goll adds it’s important to build a support network for Orange City’s LGBTQ residents, and says it’s vital to demonstrate this group contributes to the community and are everyone’s neighbors.
"One of our mutual friends, had said, 'Had I an event like this when I was a kid, or seen it in my community, I wouldn’t have tried to kill myself. So hearing stories like that, like this is really powerful and important that we do this event,'" he says.
The event begins today and goes to Sunday, when it will conclude with brunch and show tunes.