YARDLEY BOROUGH >> Yardley Borough on Tuesday marked the beginning of Pride Month by raising the Progress Pride flag for the first time over borough hall.
During a brief ceremony, the borough’s first openly gay Councilman David Bria joined Council Vice President Caroline Thompson and a small gathering of supporters for the brief, but very meaningful flag raising event.
“This in many ways is a simple thing we just did,” said Bria, “but in a lot of ways it’s a really, really big deal.
“The very first pride was a rebellion. It was an act of defiance. It was a riot,” he said referring to the Stonewall uprising in New York City in 1969 by the gay community. “But what it said was, ‘We are here. We are not going away. We are part of this society.’
“And to see this flag up there today means so much to a community and it means so much to me personally,” said Bria. “Growing up, I thought this country was not going to be for me. I never thought we’d see gay marriage let alone any of the other things we are talking about today. So to be part of a government that’s raising this flag beneath the American flag and it’s proud of me, it means more than I can say and I am proud in return to all of you.”
Designed by Daniel Quasarin 2018, the Progress Pride Flag features black and brown stripes to represent people of colour, and baby blue, pink and white to include the trans flag in its design. It also incorporates the colors of the original rainbow flag, a symbol of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) prideand the LGBTQ social movements.
A flag raising also took place Tuesday evening at the Bucks County Administration Building in Doylestown. It was hosted by the Doylestown Pride Festival in conjunction with the Rainbow Room. And on Wednesday the Bucks County Commissioners issued a proclamation.
“As we kick of Pride Month, I was inspired to again join the youth of the Rainbow Room raising the pride flag for all to see,” said State Senator Santarsiero who attended the Doylestown event. “Our community is at its best when everyone is free to be who they are and love who they love. Thank you to the Doylestown Pride Festival for hosting this, and many other great events this month.”
The Yardley Borough flag raising proceeded the June 1 borough council meeting, which saw council vote unanimously 6 to 0 to recognize June 2021 as Pride Month in the Borough.
Pride Month was established to commemorate the riots that took place on June 28, 1969 at the Stonewall Inn in New York City. Those riots gave birth to the gay and lesbian movement.
“This nation was founded on the ideal that every individual has infinite dignity and worth and all human beings are born free and equal,” says the resolution. “All LGBTQ individuals have provided an immeasurable impact on the cultural, civic and economic success of our country.”
The resolution continues by recognizing that the Borough of Yardley has adopted an ordinance to prohibit discrimination based on sexual identification and gender identity.
While it notes that “structural inequities and discrimination continue to oppress the LBGTQ community, particularly LBGTQ people of colour,” it says that Yardley Borough is “committed to support visibility, dignity and equality of LGBTQ people living and working in our community.
“The celebration of Pride Month influences awareness and provides support and advocacy for the LGBTQ community and is an opportunity to engage in dialogue that builds acceptance, advances equal rights and to end social inequities,” reads the resolution.
Thompson noted that the newly- opened Yardley Tattoo at 40 South Main Street is selling limited edition Pride Month t-shirts in support of the Rainbow Room in Doylestown.
The Rainbow Room is a support program for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, asexual, and other sexual minority youth, and their allies who are between the ages of 14 and 21. They provide a safe, supportive, welcoming and fun environment for education and advocacy.
For more information about the t-shirt, visit yardleytattoo.com or call 267-399-3022.