Upwards of 50 people gathered outside Delta City Hall last Wednesday (June 1) to raise the Progress Pride Flag in celebration of Pride Month and in support of the 2SLGBTQ+ community.
Among the many in attendance were Mayor George Harvie, City Manager Sean McGill, Coun. Dylan Kruger, vice-president of the Delta Pride Society (DPS) Christa Horita Kadach and Sher Vancouver Outreach Worker Joshna Hirani. Delta Police and Delta Fire were also present.
“We’re thrilled that Delta would be part of [showing solidarity] and show that they are allies to those people in the [2SLGBTQ+] community,” says Horita Kadach.
The Progress Pride Flag, which was designed by queer non-binary artist Daniel Quasar in 2018, is a combination of the original rainbow flag designed in 1978 by Gilbert Baker and the transgender pride flag designed by Monica Helms in 1999.
Quasar’s reinterpretation of the flag includes black, brown, light blue, pink and white stripes in the shape of an arrow on the left of the flag, representing marginalized BIPOC folks and the trans and non-binary community, respectively.
It aims to celebrate and acknowledge the diversity of the queer community while simultaneously calling for a more inclusive society, reads the Victoria and Albert Museum’s website.
But more rainbows are to come, announced a June 6 press release from the city, and Delta residents and visitors can expect to see rainbow street banners along major roads with the words Acceptance, Courage, Love and Pride. They were created in collaboration with the DPS.
“The banners are being placed at community entrances to send a signal to everyone who walks, drives or rides into the community that no matter how you identify or who you love, everyone is welcome here,” said Harvie.
Weekly short videos interviewing members of the DPS, Sher Vancouver and the Mayor’s Task Force on Diversity, Inclusion and Anti-Racism will also be released throughout the month of June.
Pride Month is celebrated every June to honour the 1969 Stonewall riots in New York City, which were in response to a June 28 police raid of the gay bar Stonewall Inn and the police brutality against the queer folks inside.
The riots were one of the first uprisings in the plight for queer equality and human rights.
They were led by queer and transgender women of colour – including Storme DeLarverie, who is widely believed to have thrown the first punch that sparked the riots, and gay and transgender liberation activists Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera.
“Progress has been made since the Stonewall riots, but there’s so much more work to be done ... The Progress flag shows and celebrates progress, but we just want to tell the community that this is also a time to reflect on the work that continually needs to be [done],” says Horita Kadach.