HUDSON – A rainbow flag was installed over the door of Hudson City Hall on Friday evening June 3, to acknowledge the commencement of Pride Weekend in Hudson and the newly proclaimed Pride month in the state.
Welcoming the gathering was Common Council President Tom DePietro who introduced Matthew McMorrow, deputy director of Constituency Affairs for Governor Kathy Hochul, who presented Mr. DiPietro with with a proclamation listing advances in the 53 years since the Stonewall riot in New York City and declaring June to be LGBTQ+ Pride Month.
Nathaniel Gray, executive director of the Pride Center of the Capital Region, encompassing nine counties, said “We’re 10% of everybody, nobody is trying to dupe you, we’ve always been here, and queer visibility saves lives.”
Next to speak was Tandra LaGrone, CEO of In Our Own Voices, a Capital District nonprofit working to ensure the survival and growth of LGBTQ and people of color communities which serves 7 counties in the capital region.
She said, “We have to remind people of our humanity, to call them out when they are wrong and to call them in and include them.”
And she said, “We cannot accept violence of any way shape or fashion.”
“Young people watch us,” she said, “and we must lead by example.”
Hudson Mayor Kamal Johnson spoke saying he was happy to kick off Pride Month and invited everyone to Hudson to celebrate. Then at the podium Osun Zotique, who is the executive director of Out Hudson and a non-binary candidate for US Congressional District 19, asked, “Why do we need the rainbow garb?” and continued “We will always need pride, for self acceptance and for community acceptance.”
Referring to the rainbow flag they said, “We still need pride to embody the unity of all people, so every year in the month of June we will march.