Pride Month kicked off June 1 with a ceremonial flag raising of the progress pride flag alongside the POW, U.S. and state flags at the civic center.
Over a dozen people joined local members of the town’s administration and council with members of Windsor’s LGBTQIA+ community to see the flag go up as the kickoff of several events for pride. In attendance were Councilmember Esther Lemus, Town Manager Ken MacNab, Parks and Rec Director Jon Davis, among others.
“It made me cry,” said Melissa Greene, a Windsor resident. “For me it symbolizes continued progress for equality and safety and celebration of the folks who are LGBTQIA+. And, I love the flag has changed to be more inclusive of people who fall in that population … It makes me proud of our town.”
Spencer Blank helped organize the event and was thrilled to see it come to fruition. “We’re excited to have civic level recognition of this holiday,” he said. “This community has been through a lot in the last year and to me this is one piece of the healing being able to begin.”
Peter Morales has lived in Windsor his whole life, and hopes that future LGBTQIA+ kids will have an easier time of it.
“My initial thought was ‘finally, something’s being done.’ I know during my time at Windsor High School there wasn’t a lot of support for the LGBTQIA+ community,” he said. “As a gay person I knew it was very difficult to come out. I came out to my parents during a psych appointment. Seeing this is giving me a lot of hope that people will eventually come to support us as a whole.”
Morales, who currently attends the Santa Rosa Junior College, is a youth advocate with LGBTQ Connection Sonoma who will be expanding their reach into Windsor and Healdsburg in the coming year. He is also planning small events for youth in the areas, including a Pride Party on June 18.
Reverend Mary Beene is a pastor at Windsor Presbyterian Church, and felt that it was important for religion to be represented in support of the LGBTQIA+ community.
“This has been really important to us as church that has been very welcoming of the LGBTQIA+ community over time and has members for whom this is very meaningful,” she said. “We are in the process of putting flag out for us and make sure everybody knows this is a church you are safe at, you are welcome to come to and we love you. Because people have not always gotten that at churches.”