Auburn raises LGBTQ + pride flag at City Hall

For the second year in a row, the city of Auburn hoisted a pride flag in front of City Hall to celebrate LGBTQ + Pride Month and the LGBTQ + community.

LGBTQ + pride

2021 is the 52nd anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising. According to the Library of Congress, “[LGBTQ+] Pride Month is currently celebrated each year in June to honor the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan. “The goal of Pride Month, which is commemorated with a variety of events,” is to recognize the impact that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people have had on history locally, nationally and internationally. “.

The LGBTQ pride flag was first created in 1978 by Gilbert Baker at the request of San Francisco Mayor Harvey Milk. “A rainbow flag was a conscious, natural and necessary choice,” Baker said. “The rainbow has come from ancient history as a symbol of hope.”

The original pride flag had eight colors:

  • Rose: Sex
  • Red: life
  • Orange: Healing
  • Yellow: Sunlight
  • Green: Nature
  • Turquoise: Magic
  • Blue: Harmony
  • Violet: Spirit

The flag has changed from eight to six colors. The pink fabric was overpriced, according to Baker, so it was taken out. Turquoise was combined with blue to be royal blue. In 1979, the flag changed to the traditional rainbow flag that most people know today.

There are now at least 21 official LGBTQ + flags representing different identities within the queer community.

The original LGBTQ + flag at the Newseum. Gilbert Boulanger | Auburn Examiner

Auburn hoists the pride flag

Mayor Nancy Backus and her daughter, Lucky, raised the LGBTQ + pride flag at City Hall for the first time in 2020. years earlier and not just a proclamation, ”Backus said.

Backus credits his daughter’s strong advocacy for raising the flag for change. “I’m so proud of my daughter, and she taught me so much that love is love.”

“It’s really hard to express how the flag of pride with my mom has been raised,” said Lucky Backus. “We were the first to raise the flag [Auburn] town hall and I will always keep this memory with me. It is an immense happiness and joy to have been able to do that with her!

There was no public ceremony in 2020 due to the pandemic.

Pride 2021

“I am proud that this is the second year that we have raised the pride flag. Last year it was my daughter Lucky and I, and this year the event was a bit bigger.

Tuesday’s flag-raising event featured words from Backus, a prayer from RevIVE Pastor Josh Headley and a personal testimony from Chris Stott. In attendance included Auburn City Council members Chris Stearns, James Jeyaraj and Yolanda Trout-Manuel, representatives from Auburn HealthPoint, representatives from the Boy Scouts of America and Auburn Junior City Council member Waylon Menzia .

Coll Thrush grew up in Auburn and said it wasn’t an easy place to be queer. In response to a post from Backus on social media, Thrush commented, “As a gay man who grew up in Auburn in the 1970s and 1980s, I want to thank you for that.”

It is Backus’ hope that next year and in the future, the city will host expanded events, including a pride parade. “We will be reaching out to LGBTQ + organizations and working with members of our own team in the city of Auburn to plan. “

Additional pride flags will be hoisted at Auburn Justice Center, Auburn Community / Senior Center and Centennial Park.

Healing with pride

Pride is a month-long celebration of love, diversity, acceptance, and unashamed self-pride. For some, this celebration is part of the healing.

“I find healing to be an essential part of the LGBTQ community. Many of us have experienced judgment, hatred and rejection because of our sexual orientation; be it family, friends, colleagues or authority figures. It has led many of us to very dark places.

Two years ago, Stott made the decision to leave the harsh and toxic environment and moved to Washington. At this point, his life was one of normalized judgment, homophobia, and rejection. “I desperately wanted a community that I could call my own. “

Lucky Backus had the community Stott was looking for and understands “the extreme privilege of having a welcoming and loving home.” I know not everyone in the LGBTQ + community has this. I want to acknowledge that I am very grateful to my parents for never having hesitated on their love for me just because I went out. “

Stott now knows that same love and acceptance. During his speech, he recalled that even “in your darkest hours, when you feel like no one accepts you or is in your corner fighting for you, you are loved more than you are. think so “.

* Only three city council members were able to attend as four + council members equal the quorum and constitute a public meeting.


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Harold Shirley

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