SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV)– Community members, CNY Pride, and local government leaders gathered Saturday morning in front of City Hall to celebrate pride month and raise the progress flag.
This marked a symbolic moment for the LGBTQ community as it was the first year the flag was raised in front of City Hall in an official event. The progress flag, similar to the pride flag, shows the six-stripe rainbow design as the base but adds black, brown, light blue, pink and white stripes to include marginalized people of color, trans individuals, those living with HIV/AIDS and those that have passed.
State Senator Rachel May was in attendance during the event and said as the flag was raised she reflected on the past and the difficult road to get here.
“I grew up in a time when the idea of pride was you know people were really in the closet and did not speak proudly about their sexuality if they weren’t you know right in the norm so watching this movement of people really coming to assert their pride has been a beautiful thing but a very, very long term thing,” Senator May said.
Mayor Ben Walsh was also in attendance and announced the formation of a new LGBTQ Advisory Board.
“My hope is that out of those conversations and out of those dialogues we get specific concrete actions, policies and other things we can do to make sure we’re doing everything possible to support our LGBTQ community,” Mayor Walsh said.
CNY Pride president, Michael Leonelli said he welcomes this new board.
“So it’s awesome to see him put something in place and say we’re going to get a group of people that really specialize in this community to be able to say here’s maybe how to navigate that a little better,” Leonelli said.
Leonelli added that while pride month is fantastic, LGBTQ individuals should be celebrated and made to feel welcome everyday of the year.
Due to COVID-19, the 2021 CNY Pride Festival will be held virtually on Saturday, June 26 at 7:30pm. You can find out how to participate here.
To get involved in the LGBTQ Advisory Board you can fill out a nomination form for yourself or someone you know here.