The LGBTQ+ flag was raised in front of Town Hall last week for the third annual Easton Pride Flag Raising and Community Celebration. The flag-raising celebration kicks off a month of pride-related events that promote diversity and inclusion during Pride Month.

The event began with remarks from several prominent members of the Easton community and Connecticut politics, including Sen. Tony Hwang, Rep. Anne Hughes, Rev. Ally Brundige, and Emilie Dumas, president of Joel Barlow High School’s Gender Sexuality Alliance (GSA).

Sen. Tony Hwang and Rep. Anne Hughes at Easton Pride Month celebration.–Photo by Sophie Camizzi

“I feel blessed to be part of a generation that continues to advocate for visibility in the LGBT community,” said Dumas. “GSA at Barlow has given me the opportunity to help create an accepting community, and to be a piece of what drives change and acceptance. Seeing events, such as Easton Pride, gives me hope for the future and prideful for what is to come.”

This year’s Pride Celebration was the result of the unanimous and bipartisan approval by the Easton Board of Selectmen, who came together to support flying the Pride flag throughout the entire month of June.

“We need to be out loud, proud and radically inclusive of the whole community and be a model for what other communities can be doing,” said Rep. Hughes. “I am proud of this community for stepping up and ensuring that, especially our young people, can be seen, heard and celebrated for who they are.”

For some in attendance, seeing the sheer amount of people in the crowd wearing pride colors, waving flags, and showing their support in other ways was a welcome surprise.

Easton celebrates Pride Month.–Photo by Sophie Camizzi

“I was really shocked that there was this many people, and it really shows how our community is growing more and more accepting,” said Stephan Timozek.

Following the flag being raised, the Pride Celebration was moved to the Easton Public Library where there were informational tables were set up, lawn games, food trucks, live music, crafts and more.

Easton celebrates Pride Month.–Photo by Sophie Camizzi

Despite the inclement weather that shortly arrived later, most of the crowd was not deterred from celebrating Pride Month.

“Today has been absolutely incredible,” said Trevor Wilkes. “I just love that Easton is so ready and willing to share this part of them because I know people who haven’t been comfortable to do so. Everyone is just so willing to be here even if it’s in the rain.”

For those who have never attended before, the weather did not take away from the community aspect of celebrating Pride.

“I think that this is the best that it could have been,” said Sade Wilkes. “Representing Pride is just about being able to open up without fear because if we are together, we are strong.”

 For those interested in attending other events, there will be Visions of Pride, a Pride-themed art exhibit, on June 25 from 4 to 5 p.m. at the Easton Public Library, as well asl a Pride-themed concert on June 26 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at Christ Church as part of its Concerts on the Hill series.

Photos by Sophie Camizzi

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