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Meet Our Board

About Preble County Pride

A message from the Chairman

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Clayton Jaros, Founder

As a gay man, growing up in Preble County has given me a very unique perspective. There was zero (visible) support for me growing up here. It was lonely, depressing, terrifying, and still causes me issues to this day. Growing up on a 200 acre farm with nobody else except myself and the animals, I suffered in silence and without much human interaction besides my parents and a very close friend who I thank God for every day. My closest family members and best friend had no idea I attempted suicide, let alone how many times.  I was miserable and wanted to die because I thought I was hopelessly alone in life because I lived in a bubble.

What I didn't know back then is that suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people aged 10 to 24 (Hedegaard, Curtin, & Warner, 2018), and we can start to lower these numbers by simply by showing ourselves here at home as well as being openly inclusive of all human beings.

 

I didn't realize I had people I could turn to years ago. My allies were not outwardly supportive for many reasons. It even turned out that several adults in my life were LGBTQ+, but they were not out due to fear of retaliation, losing their jobs, or for other reasons. We cannot keep hiding, especially at home! When we hide, the younger generation does not know we are there.

What we need is visibility, awareness, and open communication from both sides – even if we do not agree. The best way I know to encourage this sort of environment is to invite everyone we can, get them around a campfire, sing some songs, and feed them. We must welcome everyone.

It is my hope that, someday, members of our community in Preble County will feel accepted enough to live as safely and unapologetically as they wish.

This is our organization. This is our story. I hope you would like to be a part of it.

Sincerely,

Clayton Jaros

Mission

Our mission is to bring LGBTQ+ visibility, awareness, and acceptance to rural Preble County, Ohio and surrounding areas.

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Vision

Under construction

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