Bayonne Mayor Jimmy Davis and the City Council took part in Bayonne’s second annual celebration of Hudson County Pride Month during a Pride Flag raising ceremony at City Hall on Ave. C, with other LGBTQ activists and members of the community in tow.
Hudson County was the first in the state to raise a Pride flag 16 years ago, and this was the first year all twelve municipalities raised flags of their own outside of government office.
For Bayonne, the ceremony was symbolic of officials’ ongoing work in establishing LGBTQ-inclusive policiies. The city has taken a number of steps, such as working alongside advocacy groups including Hudson Pride Center, a nonprofit organization that offers people who identify as LGBTQ with a number of resources, including counseling services, career advancement opportunities, and a wide range of medical and psychological services.
The organization is based in Jersey City, but, in recent years, its members have been branching out to all twelve municipalities in the county through a number of events in order to raise awareness of the services it provides.
Mayor Jimmy Davis said that the flag is a representation of the city’s affirmation to continue working to be an inclusive place to all people, including LGBTQ community members.
“This is about people coming together as one,” Mayor Jimmy Davis said. “Looking at the events that happened over the weekend [mass shootings in El Paso, TX, and Dayton, OH], we have to understand that we are all one. We are the human race. Everyone needs to try to reach an understanding of one another.”
Michael Billy and Elizabeth Schedl, the CEO and COO of Hudson Pride Center, also attended the event to promote some of the services that Hudson Pride Center offers to any LGBTQ resident of Hudson County.
“We’re dedicated to helping individuals on a daily basis, with connecting someone to health care, HIV services, housing support, struggles with family support, and helping community members find help in any way they might need.”
Following the event, Bayonne Medical Center and Hudson Pride held an “Open Minds, Open Hearts,” Open Mic” event at Shorty’s on 279 Broadway in Bayonne. Musicians, comedians, poets, and spoken word artists turned out to celebrate Hudson Pride Month and showcase some local artistry.
To find out about the massive lineup of events occurring throughout the month of August in celebration of Hudson Pride Month, which are heavily concentrated in Hoboken and Jersey City but spread everywhere, check out our coverage in the story “Rainbow flags unfurl” at hudsonreporter.com. To learn more about the various services provided by Hudson Pride Center, ranging from health services to support groups, visit hudsonpride.org.