Governor Cooper Hosts Pride Month Reception Honoring LGBTQ+ Pioneers

Government and Politics

June 14, 2024

From: North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper
RALEIGH - On June 14, 2024, Governor Roy Cooper hosted a Pride Month reception at the Executive Mansion to honor LGBTQ+ pioneers who have been at the forefront of the fight for equal rights for decades. The Governor was joined by legislators, representatives from LGBTQ+ advocacy groups and other LGBTQ+ activists.

“In North Carolina, our diversity is our strength," said Governor Cooper. “Our LGTBQ+ community makes our state stronger, and in this Pride month we lift up the early pioneers who have for decades led the charge for acceptance and equality. In the face of hateful rhetoric, legislation and even violence, we must all continue their efforts."

“The LGBTQ+ community here in North Carolina is strong and diverse,” said Representative Allison Dahle. “Pride Month is a time to both celebrate who we are and recommit ourselves to the fight for equality. I'm excited to join Governor Cooper today to celebrate Pride Month and our LGBTQ+ Pioneers."

“Supporting our aging population is important, including LGBTQ+ elders who face unique issues as they grow older,” said Carolina Aging Alliance Interim Director Sharon Kilpatrick. “The Carolina Aging Alliance works hard to address these challenges and we are excited to join Governor Cooper today to highlight these issues and celebrate Pride Month here in North Carolina.”

Carolina Aging Alliance is a nonprofit organization that advocates and provides services to LGBTQ+ individuals who are 50 and older. Their mission is to improve “the quality of life for all LGBTQ+ older adults through inclusion, advocacy, education, and positive social engagement.”

At the event, the Governor presented a proclamation declaring June as LGBTQ+ Pride Month to LGBTQ+ activists Mandy Carter and Allan Troxler. Carter has been an LGBTQ+ activist for 50+ years and co-founded Southerners On New Ground. Troxler has dedicated his life to LGBTQ+ advocacy and is the creator of the “Our Day Out” poster for North Carolina’s first gay and lesbian march in 1981.

LGBTQ+ elders have been at the forefront of the fight for equality for decades. These pioneers now face unique challenges as they grow older. Reports show older LGBTQ+ people are at a higher risk for social isolation, discrimination and neglect as well as often struggling to find competent inclusive health care.

LGBTQ+ Pride Month is celebrated nationwide in June to honor the riots that took place at the Stonewall Inn on June 28, 1969 in New York, which is commonly recognized as the birth of the modern LGBTQ+ rights movement.

Governor Cooper is committed to making North Carolina a safer and more inclusive place for everyone and has taken meaningful steps to protect the rights of LGBTQ+ individuals, including establishing the first Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in a North Carolina Governor’s Office.

In 2017, Governor Cooper issued Executive Order No. 24 which prohibits discrimination in the Governor’s Administration on the basis of sex, sexual orientation and gender identity. The Executive Order also established the NC Commission on Inclusion which advises policies to promote inclusion and address discrimination and harassment.

In 2019, Governor Cooper issued Executive Order No. 97 which banned state funding for conversion therapy for minors.

In 2023, Governor Cooper issued Executive Order No. 280 which directed action to continue the state’s commitment to building an age-friendly state. From this order, the All Ages, All Stages NC: A Roadmap for Living and Aging Well planning process launched to address the needs of North Carolina’s growing, diverse aging population.

Read the proclamation.