By CASEY BISETTI
Clouds hung heavy in the sky after rainfall the night before, but slivers of sunlight slipped through to illuminate three flags dancing in the wind outside of the Warwick City …
By CASEY BISETTI
Clouds hung heavy in the sky after rainfall the night before, but slivers of sunlight slipped through to illuminate three flags dancing in the wind outside of the Warwick City Hall.
On June 2, the second day of Pride Month, the city of Warwick hosted its annual flag-raising ceremony in acknowledgement of its LGBT+ residents and the path toward equality they continue to trek.
Warwick City Council President Stephen McAllister and Representative Camille Vella-Wilkinson both spoke on the importance of the event—an importance that extends far beyond the basic acknowledgment of a community that, only a decade prior, could not be acknowledged in this way.
In her speech, Vella-Wllkinson said, “It shows inclusion, not only for the adults, but think about all of the children that we have within the community. Now, they can go to their city hall and, in addition to seeing the American flag and the state flag, they see the pride flag so, as the Council President said, they understand that they are included.”
The flag was raised by the president of the Rhode Island Pride Board, Kate Monteiro, who spoke briefly on her own experiences as a long-time LGBT+ activist.
“I came to Warwick because I wanted a safe place to live. And I am proud that I have a safe place to be a queer woman in Rhode Island, in Warwick… For the City of Warwick to proclaim by raising this flag, for the Speaker of the House and the House of Representatives in the state of Rhode Island to recognize this event is not only wonderful and sweet and ceremonial. It is critical and life-affirming and real.”
Monteiro was granted the honor of raising the flag, a symbolic moment in which the assembly was able to watch the pride flag take flight alongside the flags of our country and state, flags that symbolize strength and courage in times of need.
Monteiro closed the ceremony with a reminder that the Rhode Island PrideFest would be taking place at the Providence Innovation District Park on June 1. She invites everyone, regardless of gender or sexuality, to join her in celebrating the diverse and welcoming community that the people of Rhode Island have worked so hard to foster.
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