Town council in Alberton, P.E.I., has unanimously rejected a request that it raise a Pride Flag at the town hall to mark International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia.
Mayor David Gordon said there were complaints when the flag was raised last year, and it was taken down. Gordon said he and the town councillors have nothing against gay pride and suggested the flag be raised somewhere else in the town.
Rory Starkman of The Transgender Network, one of the groups that asked for the flag raising, said the refusal shows LGBT groups have work to do.
“We’re starting to see that we really need to move outward, especially for the youth in those communities who may be feeling really underserved and really underrepresented,” said Starkman.
“I know that a flag raising seems really inconsequential, but sometimes it’s that one little beacon of hope for someone.”
Support in the cities
Starkman said the LGBT community has a higher rate of suicide, and a lack of community support can lead to higher risk factors, adding that the community has strong support in the province’s two cities.
“It’s actually appalling that they wouldn’t do it,” Starkman said.
“I can only imagine the people who live there who are seeing this flag go up feeling like, ‘OK, I can finally be myself here,’ only to see it brought down because of some bigots in the community or people who don’t believe that LGBTQ people should exist. And that’s really, really upsetting.”
There will be a flag-raising ceremony at noon on Friday in Summerside and at 12:15 in Charlottetown.