May 30, 2012 at 4:12 pm EDT | by Steve Charing
PFLAG mom to be parade’s grand marshal

June Horner, Baltimore, gay news, Washington Blade

June Horner. (Washington Blade photo by Steve Charing)

June Horner was selected unanimously by the Baltimore Pride Parade Committee to be this year’s parade grand marshal.

“June Horner has been to every single Baltimore Pride parade,” Donald Young, committee chair told the Blade. “Her outstanding work in PFLAG and her belief that every human being should be treated equally and based on character, not on sexual orientation were the reasons June was selected.” In response, Horner said, “I am pleased beyond measure or words to be chosen for this honor.” The parade takes place on June 16.

Horner, from Sykesville, Md., started a PFLAG chapter in Baltimore in 1985 but the interest level on the part of city parents dropped off a year later. She became a founding member of the Howard County chapter and has served on its steering committee since 1994. Last year she helped form a chapter in her home area of Westminster-Carroll County where she believed such a support, education and advocacy group is needed.

In 1984, upon learning that her youngest son Mark was gay, she embarked on a mission to fight discrimination.

“I felt I simply had no choice other than jump in and try to get involved to tell the world as best I could within whatever limited capacities I might have, that good people are being misunderstood and hurt and this has got to stop,” she said. “And this has been my passion and my purpose for over 25 years now… and counting.”

Always adorned with pro-equality and PFLAG buttons and T-shirts, Horner has marched in numerous parades from D.C. to New York as well as San Francisco. Often, she along with her husband Graham, holds up a sign that reads, “Our Kids are Fine—Just the Way They Are.”

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