Gay commissioner spearheads first-ever Pride Month in Gwinnett

Stonewall fever is spreading in Gwinnett as the county’s first openly LGBTQ commissioner officially declared it Pride Month for the first time ever. 

District 2 Commissioner Ben Ku issued the proclamation at a commission meeting on Tuesday. It comes as Gwinnett’s own Norcross prepares for its first Pride celebration on Saturday.

After the reading of the proclamation, Commission Chair Charlotte Nash confirmed it was the first time a commissioner requested that the county recognize June as Pride Month. Ku (photo), who became the commission’s first openly LGBTQ and first Asian-American member in December, celebrated the milestone.

“I’m happy to start this new tradition, and I think it’s really important to recognize and make everybody know that Gwinnett is a safe space for all people and that there’s no shame or stigma with being part of this community,” he said.

The proclamation recognizes LGBTQ Gwinnett residents as "a vital part" of the county.

“Gwinnett is strengthened by and thrives upon the rich diversity of ethnic, cultural, racial, gender and sexual identities of its residents, all of which contribute to the vibrant character of our community," the proclamation said.

Representatives from Positive Impact Health Centers, which has a facility in Gwinnett, and the Norcross Gay Club took part in the ceremony. 

State Rep. Sam Park, a Democrat from Lawrenceville, said the proclamation was a sign of progress in the county. Park is a legal analyst for Positive Impact Health Centers and is one of five openly LGBTQ members of the legislature. 

“I am proud that the Gwinnett BOC is recognizing Pride Month for the first time in its history,” Park told the AJC. “It demonstrates the progress we are making as a community to be inclusive and welcoming of everyone who calls Gwinnett home.”

Park introduced a House resolution in April commemorating the 50th anniversary of Stonewall.