July 23, 2024 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

Long Beach City Council Declares June as Pride Month, Raises Progress Flag to Celebrate LGBTQ+ Community

Unanimous Vote Also Designates May 22 as Harvey Milk Day

By Dolores Quintana

In a historic move, the Long Beach City Council voted unanimously last month to repeal an old resolution that previously recognized the city’s third week of May as Pride Week, as The Long Beach Post reported. The decision came in response to the need to align the city’s Pride celebration with regional and national declarations and the annual recognition of June as Pride Month.

Over time the official designation of Pride Month became June, with different states in the Union and two previous Presidents declaring June the proper month. Last year, President Joe Biden officially declared June as National LGBTQ+ Pride Month.

The recent resolution sends a powerful message of support and solidarity with Long Beach’s LGBTQ+ community. Councilmember Megan Kerr, the author of the resolution, expressed her belief in the importance of enshrining the practices in city policy to ensure that future councils won’t need to revisit the decision to fly the Pride flag or acknowledge June as Pride Month.

Not only has June been designated as Pride Month, but the City Council also recognized May 22 as Harvey Milk Day in honor of the first openly gay politician in the state. Harvey Milk, a San Francisco Board of Supervisors member, was tragically assassinated in 1978, just 10 months after taking office. May 22 marks Milk’s birthday and will now be a day of remembrance for his contributions to the LGBTQ+ community.

Under the new resolution, the city will proudly raise the Progress Flag during Pride Month. The Progress Flag includes stripes to represent different groups within the community that had previously not been recognized in the flag: the transgender community and black and brown stripes to symbolize communities of color. Furthermore, the city’s assets will be illuminated in Pride colors throughout Pride Month and Pride Week, which will be determined based on the timing of the annual festival in the city.

The Long Beach Pride Festival, which previously occurred during the third week of May, has been rescheduled to take place on the weekend of August 5 this year. During the festival, there are plans to unveil a proposed LGBTQ+ mural at Bixby Park, further celebrating the city’s commitment to inclusivity and diversity.

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