Letter to the Editor: What’s My Pride?

With the first event for Open Door Pride behind us, we just wanted to take a moment to thank Mayor Thad Birmingham, Josh Van Lieshout, Kelly Catarozoli, and Megan Lundahl for all of their support in issuing the proclamation declaring Saturday, June 24th Open Pride Day. We would also like to thank the citizens of Door County who have supported this event.

Through this Proclamation, the municipality has given LGBTQ people in Sturgeon Bay an acknowledgment that will be felt in ways unimaginable.

As a tourist destination, Sturgeon Bay has long welcomed people of all ages, races and religions. We have built churches representing a variety of different belief structures, but there are very few organizations to represent the thousands of LGBTQ people who live in and visit this community.

At this time, many of the LGBTQ people in Door County feel uncomfortable being who we are in public, from holding the hands of our partners while we walk down the street, or even dressing the way we prefer to dress without fear of harassment, or worse.

We view this Proclamation as a positive first step toward creating a community that is not only welcoming of LGBTQ people, but safe and supportive as well. With this Proclamation, the City of Sturgeon Bay is not only acknowledging that LGBTQ people live, work and vacation here in Door County, but that we make important contributions to this community; a community that takes Pride in its diversity.

At our event we received great support from many community members who came to enjoy the event, donors who saw the need to financially support this effort, musicians and artists willing to display their talents, and public officials from throughout the county who showed up to support the notion that LGBTQ people are welcome here.

Open Door Pride’s mission is to affirm our community’s diversity through inclusion for all. Beyond our annual events, we strive for Open Door Pride to sustain the momentum to create a great presence for LGBTQ people who live in and visit Door County. We aim to connect with people throughout the year in order to develop a greater sense of belonging.

This Proclamation shows that the City of Sturgeon Bay supports us in our mission to affirm our community’s diversity through inclusion for all. So, with gratitude and sincerity, we thank you. We are proud to be a part of such a community and look forward to working with you to make Door County a place where we all feel safe and welcome.

Please feel free to learn more about Open Door Pride via our website Our next event will a mixer held on August 19th from 5-9PM at Starboard Brewing on 3rd Avenue in Sturgeon Bay.


Brit Gartner

Sturgeon Bay, Wis.

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