Upstate Pride SC is only one of many organizations that serve people of various gender expressions and sexual identities in the Upstate of South Carolina. Check out these great local groups! Ethan Johnstone is a local consultant specializing in transgender education and advocacy. Ethan has been involved in the leadership and organization of Southern LGBT advancement efforts through several non-profits and have developed and distributed a resource guide for transgender individuals living in the Southeast US. Ethan offers workshops, trainings, and talks on transgender issues and experience at schools, non-profit organizations, corporations, churches, and more. While originally organized as a coalition of GLBT and progressive organizations, both the c 3 and c 4 organizations of South Carolina Equality now provide leadership as independent educational and political advocacy organizations, respectively, working for GLBT inclusive policies at the local and state levels.
They patronize gay establishments and even contribute to LGBT organizations, but they choose to do it anonymously. Why do they continue to accept the role of second-class citizen, as approved by their very own government? After numerous attempts to contact the mayor and both city and county council for their opinion or insight as to why their LGBT residents seemingly feel the need to stay firmly locked in the closet, I received no response. After that dead end, I decided on another approach: this time I asked what elected officials were doing to ensure that their constituents could live comfortably, peacefully and without fear in their own community. However, almost 10 years later, I believe we are still seeing a reaction to the resolution.