“Twenty years ago this year I came out,” he said.

Wan told the City Council and those who were attending the meeting that many people believe Atlanta Pride is only a time of parties and parades.

“But it’s more than that. It’s a time for us to come together and celebrate … to celebrate our victories … and also to mourn our losses,” he said.

Wan noted that recently five young LGBT youth have taken their lives allegedly because they were constantly bullied and taunted.

“Our community still fights stigma and shame,” Wan said.

JP Sheffield, executive director of Atlanta Pride, thanked the entire city council for the proclamation and said he appreciated their support.

“We are very fortunate to have the support of the city of Atlanta when so many other cities in the Southeast don’t,” he said.

Check out video of the Wan presenting the Atlanta Pride proclamation below:

The proclamation reads:

In Recognition of 40th Atlanta Pride Festival

The Atlanta City Council is pleased to welcome the more than 300,000 attendees to the 2010 Atlanta Pride Festival, one of the largest such gatherings in the nation; and

The official kickoff party will take place Friday, October 8th at the Georgia Aquarium with the festival taking place in Piedmont Park on Saturday, October 9 and Sunday, October 10, 2010; and

Now celebrating its 40th year, the Atlanta Pride Festival will feature 17 different artists representing genres from hip-hop and R&B to country and rock. The artists will include Kimberly Locke, Atingone Rising, Niki Haris, MEN and more;

The Atlanta Pride Festival, organized by the non-profit Atlanta Pride Committee, promotes unity, visibility and self-esteem among lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgender persons and translates into an annual economic impact of more than $28 million dollars to metro Atlanta;

Atlanta Pride sponsors include Coca-Cola, Bud Light, Delta Air Lines, The GA Voice, Smirnoff, Georgia Aquarium, Grady Medical, Wells Fargo, Fenuxe Magazine, Passport Magazine and many others.

Now, Therefore, We, the members of the Atlanta City Council, on behalf of the citizens of Atlanta, hereby recognize the 40th Atlanta Pride Festival….

 

Top photo: Atlanta Pride Executive Director JP Sheffield speaks after receiving a proclamation from Atlanta City Council honoring Atlanta Pride on its 40th anniversary. In back, from left, are APC members Jamie Fergerson and Glen Paul Freedman with City Councilmember Alex Wan, who presented the proclamation. (by Dyana Bagby)

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