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Pasadena Celebrates Its Pride

Residents and supporters join Mayor Victor Gordo in raising Pride Flag at City Hall

Published on Friday, June 2, 2023 | 5:40 am
 

Dozens of members, friends, and supporters of Pasadena’s LGBTQAI+ community gathered at Pasadena City Hall Thursday afternoon to join Mayor Victor Gordo and a number of Pasadena Councilmembers to raise the Pride flag in honor of LGBTQ Pride Month. 

This was the City’s third annual raising of the flag. 

Pride Month is celebrated each year in the month of June to honor the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan, a tipping point for the Gay Liberation Movement in the United States. 

Pasadena’s flag itself was designed by non-binary artist Daniel Quasar, and made by San Diego-based Pride Flag SD, the first Queer-owned flag company.

The Mayor was joined by Vice-Mayor Felicia Williams, and Councilmembers Jason Lyon, Justin Jones, and Jessica Rivas, for the event, along with Monterey Park Councilmember Yvonne Yiu, and representatives from the San Gabriel Valley LGBT Service Center.

“It’s important for the residents of Pasadena to send a message that we, as a city and as a people, are embracing and accepting,” said Gordo, adding, “We’ve seen so much hate over time, across the country, involving communities that are historically treated differently, and that’s not acceptable for us in Pasadena.”

Gordo also presented a resolution from the City to Camila Cameléon, president of the San Gabriel Valley LGBT Service Center, and Vice-president Christian Port, which read in part, “Every family, in all its various forms, deserves a place to call home where they are safe, happy, and supported by friends and neighbors.” 

The flag-raising event occurs against a backdrop of growing tensions for the LGBTQ+ community, with incidents of Pride flag burnings, threats, and protests targeting Pride events becoming more prevalent across the country. There have been several incidents in the past two months.

District 7 Councilmember Jason Lyon, Pasadena’s first  openly LGBTQ Councilmember, pointed to a history of Gay people being shut out before gaining visibility and acceptance, and now currently the subject of legislation across the country aimed at limiting their freedoms. 

“It was only 20 years ago that the Supreme Court finally ruled that states cannot criminalize our love. And in that time, public opinion and views of us have radically changed because people see us and people know us,” Lyon said.

“What we are seeing now is a movement to try and erase us again” through various state legislations. 

“And so,” he said, “as we gather here today to raise the flag, it is certainly a celebration of our diversity and of the many communities that make up Pasadena, but it is more than that. It is an opportunity for us as a City to say , to our LGBTQ neighbors, we see you, we honor you, we value you, and we will never, ever be invisible again.” 

In the United States the last Sunday in June was initially celebrated as “Gay Pride Day,” but the actual day was flexible. In major cities across the nation the “day” soon grew to encompass a month-long series of events. 

Today, celebrations include pride parades, picnics, parties, workshops, symposia and concerts, and LGBTQ Pride Month events attract millions of participants around the world. 

Memorials are also held during the month for those members of the community who have been lost to hate crimes or HIV/AIDS. In 1994, a coalition of education-based organizations in the United States designated October as LGBT History Month. 

In 1995, a resolution passed by the General Assembly of the National Education Association included LGBT History Month within a list of commemorative months. 

National Coming Out Day (October 11), as well as the first “March on Washington” in 1979, are commemorated in the LGBTQ community during LGBT History Month.

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