Members of the LGBTQ+ community kicked off Hudson County Pride Month last week with a Pride flag raising at Hudson County Plaza on Aug. 1.
Hudson County became the first in the state to raise a Pride flag 16 years ago. Now a growing number of cities in the county are doing it, including Hoboken, Bayonne, and Union City. Guttenberg will do so for the first time this year.
At the Hudson County Pride flag raising Hudson County officials, including Hudson County Freeholders Anthony Romano and Joel Torres, Hudson County Clerk Junior Maldonado, and Hudson County Sheriff Frank Schillari pledged their support, emphasizing the importance of diversity and the need to be accepting of all individuals.
Freeholder Romano presented citations to Hudson Pride Center’s Chief Operations Officer Elizabeth Schedl; Hoboken’s LGBT Community Liaison Laura Knittel; Jersey City’s Eduardo Baez who organizes JC Pride; and Guttenberg Commissioner William Hokien, thanking them for their work for the LGBTQ+ community.
“It’s important for us, and we want you to know we respect and we love you,” Romano said. “You are part of our wonderfully diverse community of Hudson County, and we are going to celebrate with you and make sure that everything is done in equality.”
Schillari said he was honored to be sheriff and that he will continue to do his best to protect and serve everyone in the county. Maldonado said he has been a proud supporter of the LGBTQ+ community, both as an elected official and as a private citizen, noting “This community is important to the fabric of Hudson County.”
“Hudson County is one of the most diverse in the country, but with that said we still need to make sure that all our residents are allies to all our communities, especially members of the LGBTQ community,” said Torres. “We need to support this community by making sure we create safe spaces through the entire county and that we don’t just speak our support but do it through our actions as well.”
Jersey City will host more than 30 events, culminating in the 19th annual Jersey City LGBT Pride Festival on Saturday, Aug. 24. Last year some 17,000 people attended.
This year the theme is Honoring Our Past … Creating Our Future in recognition of the Stonewall 50 Commemoration & WorldPride 2019.
The festival, which celebrates the diversity of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community and its allies, and will take place on Newark Avenue between Grove Street and Jersey Avenue near the Grove Street PATH station.
Other events include the Jersey City Pride flag raising and awards ceremony on Aug. 21 at city hall at 280 Grove St. at 4 p.m., the first annual Miss Six26 Pageant on Aug. 17 at Six26 at 128 Christopher Columbus Dr. at 7 p.m., Drag Queen Story Hour with Harmonica Sunbeam Aug. 17 at Word at 123 Newark Ave. at 11 a.m., and That’s so Gay! art exhibit opening reception Aug. 6 at LITM at 140 Newark Ave. at 7 p.m.
For a full calendar go to https://jerseycitypride.com/upcoming-pride-events/.
Mayor Ravi Bhalla, the City of Hoboken, and the Hoboken Pride Group will present Hoboken’s second annual Pride Week activities from Aug. 8 through 18.
Pride Week events are free and to the public.
On Thursday, Aug. 8 at 7 p.m. the Hoboken Public Library will host Vogue Ball History & Performances at 500 Park Ave.
On Friday, Aug. 9 at 10 a.m. the city will have a flag-raising at 94 Washington St.
On Sunday, Aug. 11 from noon to 4 p.m. there will be a Drag Brunch at Birch Restaurant & Bar 92 River St.
On Monday, Aug. 12 at 7 p.m. there will be a Hoboken Pride 2019 Welcome Event at La Casa Restaurant, 54 Newark St.
On Tuesday, Aug. 13 at 6:30 p.m. there will be a Gender Open Parenting Workshop, giving kids space to discover their gender, at the library, 500 Park Ave.
On Wednesday, Aug. 14 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. there will be free haircuts and hair advice for queer and transgender youth at Hair Cult Salon & Spa, 1124 Washington St.
On Wednesday, Aug. 14 at 7:30 p.m. Bike Hoboken will host a Pride Ride where attendees can show off their bright lights. Location is to be determined. (Check Hoboken Pride or Bike Hoboken Facebook page for details.)
On Thursday, Aug. 15 at 7 p.m. there will be a wine and cheese mixer. RSVP is required. For more information or to RSVP contact firstname.lastname@example.org
On Sunday, Aug. 18 at noon YouTube Channel LGBTQ Star, Lindsey of Queer Kid Stuff will entertain kids ages 5 to 12 at 500 Park Ave.
Sponsors for Hoboken Pride Week are Bike Hoboken, Birch, Charrito’s, Giannone Wine & Liquor, Hair Cult Salon and Spa, the Hoboken Public Library Hudson Pride Center, La Casa Restaurante, and Print Hoboken.
The Hoboken Pride Group organized the week’s activities and is led by Hoboken’s LGBTQ+ liaison, Laura Knittel, and Migdalia Pagan-Milano from Hoboken’s Office of Constituent Affairs.
Mayor Wayne Zitt, The Guttenberg Council, and Hudson Pride Center will host a panel discussion on LGBTQ+ issues at the Gerald Drasheff Community Center, 301 69th St. Attendees should enter on Hudson Avenue between 68th and 69th Streets.
The event will take place on Aug. 19, from 6 to 8 p.m.
Members of the LGBTQ+ community will share stories and experiences and will discuss issues the LGBTQ+ community faces in Guttenberg and across North Hudson.
Jersey City Medical Center will be on-site to provide free health and wellness screenings. Everyone is welcome.
The town will have its first-ever pride flag raising on Friday, Aug. 23, at 6 p.m. at town hall, 6808 Park Ave, followed by a happy hour at Rumba Cabana (6909 Boulevard East) to support the Hudson County Pride Center.
Bayonne’s second annual Pride Flag raising ceremony is Aug. 6, at 4 p.m. The flag will be flown over city hall, at 630 Ave. C.
Union City will host a Pride Flag raising ceremony at noon on Aug. 16. The ceremony will take place at city hall, 3715 Palisade Ave.
For more information on this and other stories go to hudsonreporter.com.