PFLAG display at Tyler Public Library receives directive to move

East Texas PFLAG’s display at The Tyler Public Library has held a spot on the first floor throughout the month of June since 2015, Lou Anne Smoot of PFLAG said.

June is national Pride Month, honoring the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan — considered “a tipping point for gay liberation in the U.S.”

As Tyler organizers prepare special Pride Month events including a march, a display by the East Texas chapter of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays at the Tyler Public Library has changed locations.

This afternoon, a PFLAG organizer said they were notified by phone that the Tyler Public Library’s Pride Month display was removed from the first floor and relocated to a display case upstairs — a directive from the office of the City of Tyler’s city manager, Ed Broussard.

The Pride Month display at the Tyler Public Library includes messages such as “Pride gives me freedom to be myself!” and “Pride fights pandering to bigotry and hate!”

Lou Anne Smoot of East Texas PFLAG said the organization has filled the first floor display case throughout the month of June since 2015. The second floor display case receives little traffic, Smoot said.

 Smoot said an East Texas PFLAG advocate received an email from Broussard stating the reason for the display’s relocation:

“We decided to have the Pride Month display at the Library be located on the second floor as it relates to emotional life decisions for people. This provides an appropriate location for these conversations for our patrons and citizens.”

Smoot urges residents to reach out to Broussard to “let him know of your dismay and displeasure” by contacting the Tyler city manager’s office by phone at 903-531-1250 or in person at 212 N. Bonner Ave.

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Jane Neal is the executive director of The Tyler Loop and storytelling director of Out of the Loop: True Stories about Tyler and East Texas. In addition to the Loop, she works at the Literacy Council of Tyler and Tyler Public Library. Jane is a certified interfaith spiritual guide. She is a member of Leadership Tyler Class 33 and a former teacher of French at Robert E. Lee High School, where she ran a storytelling program called Senior Stories. Jane and her husband Don have four children.
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