Dating all the way back to 1969, June has become Pride Month. It started out as a protest and has since become a month of celebrating the LGTBQ+ Community. This month, our feature blogger is not one, but two incredible women who are celebrating Pride Month with us by sharing their story. Jenna Blackburn and her wife, Sarah, are local to the Toledo area. Jenna grew up in a very small town where she knew she was different from a young age, but where she lived, no one talked about Pride or even uplifted women in the community. Knowing she was different was hard in her hometown, so she focused on athletics to keep her busy. She loved sports and they kept her going, but most importantly – they lead her to her wife.
During college, Jenna continued her athletic career and was a star player on the basketball team. During one of her seasons, a good friend invited her to a cookout. This is where her life changed. While at the cookout, Jenna met Sarah – the first person she ever felt comfortable with and who she could be completely herself. Their relationship grew and blossomed into what it is now, a beautiful marriage full of love, laughter, and a beautiful baby girl. Jenna works for FASTSIGNS of Toledo and Maumee and Sarah works for the Toledo Police Department. In her career, Sarah has promoted twice into a leadership role and she even gave birth to their daughter, something Jenna shares was an emotion she cannot even put into words. Their relationship together is one filled with happiness and deep devotion to each other and has allowed each of them to see how powerful and amazing women truly are.
When asked about what it’s so important to celebrate Pride Month, they both shared that celebrating this month allows everyone to show love for people who are different than us. For them, it’s a time to be thankful for their family and those who have loved and supported them along the way. And just like Pride Month, celebrating women is just as important because as Jenna shared “we’ve shattered so many glass ceilings and we deserve the praise and support for those who have paved the way for the rest of us.”
Jenna and Sarah are true inspirations to our community. They show just how important it is to always be yourself. And just as Jenna shared, “find what makes you shine and surround yourself with people that will continuously lift you up. Be yourself – the real you, be present and aware in every moment. Work hard and play harder. Never let fear have the upper hand. And do not let your sexuality define you, let it embrace a part of you that makes you incredible.”
Thank you, Jenna and Sarah, for sharing your story. You are showing us just how important it is to not only celebrate Pride Month in June but every day of the year. Your story has inspired so many and will continue to inspire women from all corners of the world.
If you’d like to learn more about Pride Month, we encourage you to check out our Facebook, Women of Toledo, and Instagram, @womenoftoledo, pages!