LGBT Rainbow Flag flies in New Tecumseth

August 6, 2015   ·   0 Comments

On July 31st, in honour of Pride Week in Simcoe County, members of the New Tecumseth council raised the LGBT Rainbow Flag at the municipal office in Alliston.
According to Wikipedia, the rainbow flag was popularized as a symbol of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) pride and diversity by San Francisco artist Gilbert Baker in 1978, as such, this flag version (shown above) is also sometimes called ‘the freedom flag’.
The different colors symbolize diversity in the gay community, and the flag is used predominantly at gay pride events and in gay villages worldwide in various forms including banners, clothing and jewelry.
For the 25th Anniversary of the Stonewall riots, held in 1994 in New York city, a mile-long rainbow flag was created and post-parade cut up in sections that have since been used around the world.
The flag was originally created with eight colors, but pink and turquoise were removed for production purposes, and since 1979 it has consisted of six colored stripes.
It is most commonly flown with the red stripe on top, as the colors appear in a natural rainbow.
Aside from the obvious symbolism of a mixed LGBT community, the colors were designed to symbolize: life (red), healing (orange), sunlight (yellow), nature (green), harmony (blue), and spirit (purple/violet).
The removed colors stood for sexuality (pink) and art/magic (turquoise).
Town of New Tecumseth Ward 2 Councillor, Michael Beattie, an openly gay man, was on hand for the flag raising last Friday, joined by other members of council, family members, and representatives from Simcoe Pride.
“I’m so honoured and so proud to have been able to raise the Rainbow Flag in my hometown, not only as a member of New Tecumseth Council, but also as a member of the LGBT community,” Beattie later posted to his Facebook page. “My sincere thanks to Mayor Milne for giving me the honour of raising the flag and reading the proclamation, and to our colleagues Councillors Biss, Harrison McIntyre, Whiteside and Jebb for joining us. Many thanks also to Andrew and Brandon of Simcoe Pride, my friends at 92.1 myFM, my friends from CLASS, and also to my family and friends for joining us on this beautiful day – especially my two year old nephew, Ryan, who unfortunately slept through the whole thing!”
“Our country is the envy of the world for our stance on human rights, on cultural diversity, on individuality and on progress,” Beattie went on to say. “We are free to be whoever we want to be – regardless of who we are, regardless of where we come from, regardless of what our limitations may be, and regardless of who we choose to love.”
“There was no pride week or flag when I was a kid – and while we’ve come a long way, we have further to go,” he concluded.
The flag will fly at the Municipal Office until August 8th.
Simcoe Pride is now in its fourth year and Pride as a while is in its 46th year.
The organization grew from the first Pride Parades in 1970 – hosted in New York City, Chicago, and Los Angeles – marking the first year anniversary of The Stonewall Riot in 1969 – an event from which the gay rights movement began.
Pride is has now celebrated world-wide, including right here at home in New Tecumseth.

By Wendy Gabrek


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