May 28, 2023
Annapolis, US 67 F

Annapolis Raises the Flag For Pride Month

The six stripes of the rainbow flag have become a common symbol of LGBTQ+ celebrations across the world. In 2019, they graced the streets of Annapolis for the first time, alongside the transgender pride flag, for the entire month of June.

“Having just come out as transgender, and returning to my hometown of Annapolis in 2019, looking down West Street, and seeing all the trans flags and pride flags, that was incredibly exciting, affirming, and healing for me,” said Annapolis resident Sharen Sonntag. “I knew then, that coming back, I would be able to start making space for myself here.”

Last June, rainbow and transgender pride flags lined the streets downtown again during Pride Month, this time in the midst of the global coronavirus pandemic. The flags were a sign of hope during a very challenging year, from the pandemic to the continued police killings of unarmed Black and other people of color.

“2020 was a very dark year for me, personally, and seeing the pride flags in June really was a reminder that my community does exist in Annapolis, I was not alone, and all I had to do was reach out,” recalled Annapolis Pride, Inc. board member Joe Toolan.

Progress pride flags were raised on the streets of downtown Annapolis on Monday morning. These progress pride flags combine the traditional six-stripe flag, whose stripes all have meaning on their own (red – life, orange – healing, yellow – sunlight, green – nature, blue – serenity, purple – spirit), with the transgender pride flag (light blue reclaiming the traditional color for those assigned males at birth, light pink for reclaiming traditional colors for those assigned females at birth, white at the center for those who do not adhere strictly to the gender binary, and black and brown BIPOC representation).

The creator of the flag, Daniel Quasar, added the five-color chevron to symbolize inclusion and progress. This year, the flag is an important reminder that the LGBTQ+ community is inclusive of many different types of people.

“Although a lot of progress has been made in recent years, the fight is not over,” Toolan noted.

Across the country in 2021 there were more than 100 bills introduced affecting transgender access to healthcare, participation in athletics, and access to the correct identification documentation, just to name a just few. Black and brown people of color, particularly Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI), are facing numerous struggles, including unjust police killings and continued hate-based attacks.

“The progress pride flag truly is a call to action for white, cisgender, gay men, and any allies of the community,” Toolan said. “We must not stop the fight! Black and brown transgender people still fear leaving their homes every day. When someone lives at the intersection of these identities, the challenges they face multiply. We are one community of different voices, but we cannot rest until everyone in the community is safe from harm of any sort.”

Annapolis Pride calls on the community to continue their advocacy work this Pride Month and throughout the year. Everyone is encouraged to show their pride by tagging Annapolis Pride on social media @annapolispride for a chance to be featured on their social platforms.

This year’s second annual Annapolis Pride parade and festival will be held on Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021.

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