LGBT support groups on display in Riverside, part of gay pride week

Billboards are used to get message out to those in need of support

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Gay pride was on full display in Jacksonville this weekend. Hundreds of people, not only in the gay community, but also their allies, came out to the Riverside Artist Square on Sunday for families to learn about issues the LGBT community is facing and how they can access resources.

Jonathan Stem is with PFLAG, an organization providing support to those who need it, and to their families and friends.

"We help people, friends and families understand their child, their friends, and what they are going through in the coming out process," Stem said. 

Stem said they've posted billboards across Jacksonville to let people know they can help them in the coming out process.

"I've seen a lot of straight people, straight families, I've seen gay and lesbian families. It's been a great mix, and it's good to see the allies coming out," Stem said.  "It's been a long struggle to get where we are today, and the journey is not over, but we are at a really good place now." he added.

Another table on display at the gathering for Pride attendees to check out was the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

"We are out here to support the LGBT community, one of the highest rated for suicide attempts and completions. It's harder for them. They feel they don't know where to turn, who to talk to and where to get help," said Ellen Mendez of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

Mendez says the attendance has been amazing and she is happy to be a resource for people and also celebrate the LGBT community. 

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