The Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake is flying the Pride flag high for Pride Month.
This year, the town is flying the “progressive Pride flag,” which Pride Niagara member at large Darryl Dyball said is inclusive of the whole LGBTQ+ community.
“(It) is absolutely beautiful, fully encompassing our community,” he said during a small, distanced flag-raising ceremony on Tuesday at town hall.
The progressive flag includes a chevron with black, brown, light blue, pink and white stripes representing people of colour, trans individuals and those living with HIV/AIDS.
Dyball noted this is the second year that all Niagara municipalities and the Region of Niagara have raised the Pride flag. And for the first time both the Niagara District and Catholic school boards are flying flags, he said.
“This shows that the Niagara region is such a progressive place. We still have work to be done, but we're on the right path,” Dyball said.
“And by having all the municipalities showing their support, shows that we are doing something and as a community as a whole.”
He said flying the flag raises awareness and sends a message that people in Niagara can be accepted where they live.
“I say this over and over and over again, but our community doesn't have to go to a big city like … Toronto or Vancouver to be gay or to be out. They can be out and create roots in the Niagara region.”
Commenting on a protest against the Catholic school board's decision to fly the Pride flag, Dyball said the people against celebrating Pride are in the minority.
“The protesters against are always going to be smaller than the people who are for,” he said. “And there will always be people against it.”
“But you know, love wins in our case, and the Niagara region is so lucky to have such forward-thinking people.”
Lord Mayor Betty Disero, who helped fly the flag, said the message to the LGBTQ+ community is that “they're loved, they're a valued member of the community, and that we appreciate them very much, and they're very welcomed here as residents and visitors.”