To the Editor

 

August 17, 2017



To the Editor:

I’ve heard community leaders pose the question, “How can we make Wrangell a community that attracts and retains those in the younger generations?” With the dark economic cloud looming on Alaska’s horizon, the answers to this question will become even more imperative.

The changing and progressing ideological beliefs of millennials and generation Z are important to consider. Support for gay rights among younger age groups is higher than ever before. This shift has been locally evident, with recent LGBTQA (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer or Questioning, Ally) organization in town. Through the newly formed group Community Roots, we have seen an increase in queer advocacy and education. Such activism has brought visibility to groups that often feel pressure to remain invisible in small towns, most notably bringing a presence to the 4th of July parade, as well as during its own PRIDE march.

Recently, there also seems to be a flare up of some homophobia. Such marginalization and closed mindedness is becoming more and more unacceptable, particularly among the young. If Wrangell is to be inviting to younger populations, it must continue to make steps towards creating a culture of inclusion. As a member of the millennial generation, I have been inspired by Community Roots and its activism for a population that is all too often on the receiving end of exclusion, harassment, and prejudice. I encourage leaders and community members to show active support for organizations in town that promote welcoming respect, understanding, and progress.

Bethany Burgess

 

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