Posted: Jul 13, 2019 2:22 PMUpdated: Jul 13, 2019 2:29 PM

Pride Picnic Rocks Johnstone Park on Saturday

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Garrett Giles

The 2nd Annual Pride Picnic took place at Johnstone Park in Bartlesville on Saturday.

Toby Jenkins, the Executive Director for Oklahomans for Equality out of Tulsa, said they loved the turn out and mourned with those who needed to mourn. He said when cities, corporations, and other groups reject, devalue, or discourage members of the LGBTQ community, it can put people in a low place.

According to Jenkins at the Pride Picnic, youth have a 40-percent higher rate for suicide than young adults, and that they have a higher rate of substance abuse because they have to handle the trauma of rejection. He said gay youth should not be devalued or marginalized. This is why events like need to place in his eyes - it can be a place for love.

When a city, its leaders, its corporations and faith communities show support, Jenkins said it can do a lot for individuals that feel totally lost. He said that he was happy to see that love and support in a crowded Johnstone Park and he was glad that he brought his two transgender children to the Pride Picnic.

Lastly, there are support groups in Bartlesville that anyone in the LGBTQ can go to, and Jenkins encourages you to go.

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