HUNTINGTON, Ind. (WPTA21)- Huntington's mayor issued a proclamation Tuesda that shows the city's affirmation and respect for the LGBTQ community.
For many members of the community, it was more than just a piece of paper, but a message that they're accepted and free to be who they truly are.
"Being born and raised in Huntington you just kind of have this idea for this small town, very old school so when I heard that there was going to be a proclamation like this, I knew I needed to be a part of this," Brenna DeHaven said.
Dehaven is bisexual and she says growing up in a small town like Huntington, she was afraid that she may not be accepted.
"It was just one of those--around here it's kind of scary because you just never know what you're gonna run into who you're gonna run into. We were a little nervous there was going to be some uproar outside so I'm really thankful that that didn't happen," DeHaven said.
Quite the opposite, the whole room was full of support from members of the community to allies.
"This is just the culmination of a lot of conversations and seeing that Huntington really didn't have the mindset that a lot of people that it was and it was all about proper communication," Orion McCormack said.
McCormack is the director of Huntington Pride and helped spearhead Tuesday's proclamation. He says he had conversations with the mayor and city leaders about Huntington's reputation, and wanted to let people know that the city is more accepting than they may think.
"It does get better. I was that kid. I didn't come out until I was 18 and I still hid a lot of myself and it does get better and once you are safe and can accept who you are then the world's your oyster," McCormack said.
"Don't give up, don't let small towns define who you are because you're more than a small town and it will get better," DeHaven said.