The rainbow stripes of the LGBTQ+ Pride flag were raised above Bayonne City Hall on June 7 to celebrate Pride Month.
The June celebrations commemorate the anniversary of the Stonewall riots in 1969, which kickstarted the movement for LGBTQ+ equality.
Bayonne typically celebrates LGBTQ+ Pride in August, in conjunction with Jersey City’s Pride Festival as well as other events in Hoboken and across Hudson County.
Last year, the city was looking into holding its annual raising of the Pride flag in August, but did not due to pandemic complications. Since 2018, the city has held a Pride flag raising at City Hall in conjunction with the Hudson Pride Center.
This year, the flag raising ceremony was held again. Those in attendance included Hudson County Democratic Chair Amy DeGise, Mayor James Davis, First Ward Council Member Neil Carroll III, Second Ward Council Member Sal Gullace, Third Ward Council Member Gary La Pelusa, Councilman At-Large Juan Perez, Public Works employee Carmen Cannarozzo, and Cindy Sisk-Galvin and Ryan Blake from BCB Community Bank.
Al together now!
All 12 Hudson County municipalities will raise the LGBTQ+ Pride Flag during the month of June. According to a press release, the effort, spearheaded by the Hudson County Democratic Organization and the LGBTQ+ Caucus, will display Hudson County as a welcoming and accepting community.
“As our nation continues to rebuild after four years of hateful and divisive rhetoric, the Hudson County Democratic Organization has remained committed to building an organization that embraces the differences that make our county so special,” said HCDO Chairwoman Amy DeGise. “We are looking forward to making this an annual tradition where we come together to show our support for the LGBTQ+ community and push for a more inclusive society.”
Bayonne, Guttenberg, Harrison, Secaucus, Weehawken, West New York, and Union City held flag raising ceremonies on Monday, June 8. North Bergen raised its Pride Flag on Friday, June 4, and Hoboken raised the flag on Saturday, June 5. The remaining municipalities have events scheduled for later this month.
Hudson County, which was the first county in New Jersey to raise the Pride Flag in 2003, raised its flag on Monday afternoon with Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise, Chairwoman Amy DeGise, and LGBTQ Caucus Co-Chairs Mike DeFusco and Dan DeSalvo.
Pride during COVID
Amid the height of the pandemic in 2020, there were no Pride celebrations in Bayonne. But the city did its best to show its stripes for the LGBTQ+ community.
Between Pride Month in June and the celebrations in August, streetlamps were decked out with Pride flags. Flags were installed beneath American flags along portions of Broadway from around 30th Street to around 17th Street.
It is not clear if the flags, which aimed to celebrate Pride during the difficult situation presented by COVID-19, will return in 2021.
While there were some Pride events held at local establishments in 2019, COVID-19 precluded those events in 2020. In the past, such Pride events included an open mic night Shorty’s held in conjunction with Hudson Pride and Bayonne Medical Center.
According to Public Information Officer Joe Ryan, there are no plans yet for similar events in 2021.
For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.