Chris Tripp, co-owner of Truckin’ Mamas On the Run at Bridgeview Park in Petrolia, raises one of Pride flags on June 1. “This one is not coming down,” he vowed. He had previously taken down a Pride flag after an argument with a customer over its presence.
Tripp decided to hold a customer appreciation day and raise the Pride flags on the first day of Pride Month. The lineup wrapped around the parking lot as people waited for free food. Those that gave a donation to Diversity Ed of Sarnia were given a raffle ticket as several items were donated. It is a community based organization for 2SLGBTQAI+, their families and allies. It organizes educational forums for youth, service providers and the community.
“This event is not about me,” said Tripp. There are too many LGBTQ youth who are wanting to get out of small towns like Petrolia because they don’t feel supported. There are too many youth dropping out of high school, attempting or dieing by suicide. It is important to speak out and show the youth that they matter, he said
Blake Ellis, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Independent