Dayton Pride organizers, police discuss security for events as LGBTQ+ threats rise nationwide

DAYTON — June is Pride Month and there are a number of events this weekend in downtown Dayton. The celebration comes as threats against the LGBTQ community are on the rise across the country.

Rick Flynn, the executive director of the Greater Dayton LGBT Center, said he’s been working overtime to make sure everything is set for this weekend’s events.

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“The number of people who have been wanting to be involved has really been amazing,” Flynn said.

Flynn told News Center 7′s Xavier Hershovitz that he believes that shows the people in the Miami Valley standing up against hate as threats against the LGBTQ community have gone up.

“I think it’s more important than ever that we get out and we show people who we are here. I’ve always said I think people are afraid of what they don’t understand and if you don’t know someone who’s LGBTQ+, come meet somebody,” he said. “You’ll find out that we’re not how we’re portrayed.”

News Center 7 reached out to the Dayton Police Department about security at Pride. In a statement, the department said they “will have staffing that is in line with previous years and other similar events” and that the “public’s safety is always our number one priority when considering staffing and security.”

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Flynn thinks the events are in good shape.

“I just think it’s a really good opportunity for us to get out and show the world that we’re here and we’re not monsters,” he said.

The “Affair on the Square” starts at 6 p.m. Friday. The Dayton Pride Festival kicks off at noon on Saturday.

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