By ZEINAB NAJM
Sunday Times Newspapers
TRENTON — Trenton raised an 11-stripe pride flag to commemorate June as Pride Month for LGBTQ+ residents of the city during a June 1 ceremony.
About 100 elected officials, residents and community members gathered outside of City Hall where commissioners from the Trenton Cultural Commission and Mayor Steven Rzeppa spoke to the crowd.
Rzeppa said the day was not only important for Trenton, but for all of Downriver.
“I think that — a lot of times it easy to say, ‘Hey. We’re welcoming,’ and of course we want to be that way, but it’s really important to show it too,” he said. “Being the first community Downriver to do it, as more and more starting to do this not only across the state, but it’s just really important for all of us and everyone here to know if you love Trenton, we love you back no matter what and no matter who you are.”
Commissioner Cassandra Kings explained the meaning of the colors on the LGBTQ+ flag that was raised during the ceremony and the importance of supporting children within the community.
“It is important as parents and mentors to support the children of the LGBTQ+ community so they have the encouragement and confidence to become the great people destined for them,” Kings said. “There is no room for prejudice and there is no ‘me’ but ‘we.’”
State Sen. Stephanie Chang (D-1st District) attended the ceremony where she joined other in attendance in writing her name on a pledge sign.
“Today, Trenton became the first Downriver community to raise a Pride flag at their city hall,” she wrote on her Facebook page June 1. “Huge congratulations to the Trenton Cultural Commission, Trenton Mayor Steven Rzeppa, City Council, and all the advocates who made this happen in support of the LGBTQ community.”
The City Council unanimously approved the resolution to commemorate the month as Pride Month during a May 17 meeting.
At that meeting, Cultural Commission Chairman Patrick Taylor said the commission was hoping to celebrate June as Pride Month for the LGBTQ+ residents of Trenton by raising the 11-stipe pride flag on June 1 and flying it for the duration of the month of June.
In 2013, Trenton became the 24th city in the state to pass a human rights ordinance extending protections to LBGTQ+ residents.
President Joe Biden declared June as LGBTQ+ Pride Month following former Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton.
(Zeinab Najm can be reached at [email protected])