Pee Dee gets its first LGBTQ advocacy group

FLORENCE, SC (WBTW) — The Pee Dee now has its first LGBTQ advocacy group.

Pee Dee Equality was founded in October with the help of the Eastern Carolina Community Foundation’s Diversity Council.

“We just saw a need, and there was nothing else like it,” said Kristen Lowe, co-founder and chair of the organization’s board of directors.

Lowe said the nonprofit group intends to provide support to members of the LGBTQ community by providing access to inclusive doctors, lawyers and churches, as well as promoting acceptance.

“We want to be the organization that can help you find the information you need and provide you with resources,” Lowe said.

Since the group was founded, it has donated to gay-straight alliances at Wilson High School, Francis Marion University and Coker University, Lowe said.

“We have a lot of people who are worried about pushback,” Lowe said. “Historically we have been a fairly conservative region, but I think Florence is ready.”

Lowe said she was partly inspired to act by her experience growing up as a lesbian in Florence.

“There was no organization like this for me when I was coming out and trying to find my place in the world,” she said. “I’m really excited to be part of an organization that can provide that support, whether it’s for a child, an adult or even family members.”

Florence has become more inclusive in recent years, Lowe said. But there is still work to be done. In June, the group plans to hold the first Pee Dee Pride Month events.

“Florence is a growing city, and with that growth comes more people, more diversity and more need for understanding,” Lowe said. “We want to be an organization that can meet the needs of this growing diverse population.”

Donations can be made to the association on the Eastern Carolina Community Foundation website. Anyone interested in getting involved can contact [email protected]

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