February 27, 2023 Dear Reader, "Into every life, a little sunshine must fall. You are mine." I'm sure that my teacher wrote that in many yearbooks. But with the name Lucy, "Bringer of Light," it felt personal to me. Twenty-some-odd-years later, I still try to carry a little light wherever I go. In 2019, my friend Trina and I worked together to create a West Georgia Chapter of Free Mom Hugs. I was a newly "out of the closet mom" having a daughter who came out as trans. We, both queer moms, wanted to find ways to show support in our community. We participated in the first ever Carrollton Pride, handing out stickers and hugs and high fives. Rural West Georgia isn't always the friendliest to people who are "different." While we have small groups of artists and Queers and people of color and various other demographics, the area as a whole is very white, very conservative, and rather uninterested in learning new pronouns. So Free Mom Hugs provided allies a way to show support in meaningful ways. Turns out, though, that I'm not much of a hugger despite my love for what that organization does. Over time I passed the torch of leadership to Patty (who shines in her role). I also discovered myself to feel more comfortable with a nonbinary label than that I was originally prescribed. Turns out I always felt at home in the community because I belonged as a member, not just an ally. At some point in my time with Free Mom Hugs, I overheard another leader talking about the Facebook group they use to plan things like community picnics. I started searching and found nothing of the likes for the Carrollton area, so in June of 2021 I created Carrollton Rainbow. The original idea was to have a private social media group for LGBTQ community members and allies to have a safe space for discussing issues, planning events and making friends. Oh, have I made friends! Throughout the pandemic there was no plan for trying to revive our inaugural PRIDE event. It wasn't safe to bring a large group together, the primary organizer had moved, and there were no funds to help make it happen. But, in September 2022 after things had started to normalize, a few people met to discuss the possibility of making it happen again, even if it was just a community potluck or hanging out together for a few hours. In October 2022, Carrollton Rainbow Inc dba Carrollton Pride became an official 501c3 nonprofit organization and the second Carrollton PRIDE event took place with the help of our friends at 4AM Coffee Roasters Cafe and a few church sponsorships to cover costs. We didn't think it would happen, but with just over a month of planning we ended up with a great event. The goal of Carrollton Rainbow, in my eyes, remains the same. It is a group here to help plan community events, provide a safe space for discussions, and connect people. We've grown, and we've started slowly taking donations to help make future events possible. There are many things we would like to also accomplish, but my hope is that this remains the core of the organization through its presence in our community. We're just here to shine a little light. Sincerely, LUCY L KING She/They FOUNDER
Carrollton Rainbow Inc. is a non-profit organization that hosts regular meetups and events in Carrollton, GA and the surrounding West Georgia area for fellowship with LGBTQ+ and allies. Our signature events include our annual Carrollton Pride Festival, Carrollton Pride Prom and Carrollton Drag Shows. Additionally, Carrollton Rainbow partners with local venues and restaurants in Carrollton, GA and other organizations to provide a calendar of fun things to do in Carrollton, GA and fun things to do in West Georgia. We host Q&As, ally-oriented workshops, and online guides to provide the best local LGBTQ+ resources possible as well as to create dialogue with the local community. Carrollton Rainbow believes that representation matters and participates annually in the Atlanta Pride Parade, UWG Homecoming Parade, Carrollton Christmas Parade, Carrollton Mayfest and Carrollton's 4th of July Parade. Our visibility allows others in the West Georgia LGBTQ+ community to live with confidence and pride and to celebrate our identity and shared cultural history.