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Syracuse Officials Stand in Support of LGBTQ Community & PRIDE Week

Chris Bolt/WAER News

Pride Week in Syracuse got underway Monday with a proclamation at city hall and a memorial to victims of the massacre at an Orlando gay nightclub a year ago. Mayor Stephanie Miner and other local officials commemorated L-G-B-T-Q pride by raising the rainbow flag in front of city hall.  Calling for more equal rights, Miner also remembered the 49 victims killed in the Pulse nightclub shooting.

“We will have violence and we will have defeats as we march toward progress.  But the only thing that makes it progress is that we march together and we are not defeated by that violence.”

June is also the anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall Riots, when patrons of a gay bar in New York City clashed with police as they raided the building. Central New York PridePresident Bob Forbes finds that remembering the riots marks how far L-G-B-T rights have progressed since.

“...and there’s so many of our youth that can come out who don’t know that history.  So I think that’s why June is so important to celebrate and recognize the history and recognize all our elders that have done so much for us.”

Transgender rights in particular have come to the forefront of public discussion in recent years. Miner says that governments must respond to cultural shifts surrounding gender with policy. The GENDA bill, which recently died again in the New York State legislature, would protect against discrimination against gender identities and expressions.

Credit Chris Bolt/WAER News
Mayor Miner has supported Pride Week and events each year of her tenure as mayor

“We are a culture that has gone through tremendous, dynamic changes by welcoming people into our culture, making them fully realized members of our society.  And now we have to do that again.”

Miner notes she’s acknowledged Pride celebrations each year of her tenure as mayor.  Forbes finds Syracuse to be uniquely accepting of people regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

“Being Central New York Pride, we bring a lot of people in from Ithaca, Rochester, Albany, our allies and out LGBT folks in, like Watertown.  They do not have a place to go out to where they’re that comfortable.  So they come to our festival.  It is really important that Syracuse is that middle, melting-pot that is doing so well for all communities, but especially the LGBT community.”

Pride Week in Syracuse continues tonight ...a list of events below:

6/13 @ 7:00 p.m. Interfaith Service at St. Stephen's Church, Syracuse

6/14 @ 6:45 p.m. Pride Night at Syracuse Chiefs Baseball Game, NBT Bank Stadium

6/15 @ 6:30 p.m.  Movie Night, ArtRage Gallery, Syracuse

6/16 @ 6:00 - 9:00 p.m.  Festival Pre-Party, Aloft Hotel, Syracuse

6/17 GAY 5-K run/walk, registration @ 8:00 a.m., Run/Walk @ 9:00 a.m.  Long Branch Park, Syracuse

6/17 @ 11:00 a.m. CNY Pride Parade, Solar Street Parking Lot of Destiny USA.

6/17 @ 12:00n - 5:00 p.m. CNY Pride Festival, Syracuse Inner Harbor

Chris Bolt, Ed.D. has proudly been covering the Central New York community and mentoring students for more than 30 years. His career in public media started as a student volunteer, then as a reporter/producer. He has been the news director for WAER since 1995. Dedicated to keeping local news coverage alive, Chris also has a passion for education, having trained, mentored and provided a platform for growth to more than a thousand students. Career highlights include having work appear on NPR, CBS, ABC and other news networks, winning numerous local and state journalism awards.