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  • Writer's pictureESSEX FREE PRESS

Pride Flag raised at Essex Municipal Building

by Sylene Argent

To recognize Windsor-Essex Pride Fest, from August 6-8, the Pride flag was raised at the Essex Municipal Building last Thursday, during an organized flag-raising ceremony.

  At the June 7 regular meeting, Council approved the request, from St. Paul’s Anglican Church, which asked for the Pride Flag to be flown during the Windsor-Essex Pride Festival. In addition, a second request to fly the flag came from Trans Wellness Ontario for Transgender Day of Remembrance on November 19.  

  Mayor Larry Snively and Councillor Morley Bowman brought greetings from the Town of Essex. He said it is a great event. “Today marks a special day as we recognize the 2021 Windsor-Essex Pride Festival with the raising of the Pride Flag at Town Hall. At the core of the Town of Essex is a message that everyone belongs,” he said, adding it celebrates everyone in the LGBTQ community and all they contribute to society.

  He said the flag raising was a symbol of the community’s commitment to ensure everyone belongs.

  Jaye Lacerte is a new resident to the Town of Essex. As a new resident, she called the Essex Municipal Building to inquire about what LGBTQ activities were in place. As there were none on the books, she formed a partnership with Trans Wellness Ontario and St. Paul’s Anglican Church to host the flag raising.

  “I am just so happy there is something in the community for my family. It is very important to us,” Lacerte said, who also read a poem she wrote for her daughter when she came out to her family in 2015. “I offer it to you, who identify as LGBT from my heart.”

  In the poem, words were shared to ensure her daughter was not alone in her journey of self-discovery.  

  Before hoisting the Pride Flag, Executive Director of Trans Wellness Ontario, Alexander Reid, said it is important for those in the LGBTQ community to know there are systems supporting them and towns proud of them.

  St. Paul Anglican Church’s Reverend Chris Brouillard-Coyle was recently brought on to be the Chaplain at Trans Wellness Ontario. “We have faith all people are God’s children. Everyone should be valued, valid, and loved,” she said.

  “We hope you will spread the word Essex is an affirming place, a caring place, for all people, whoever you may be,” she added.

  The Pride Flag has been flown at St. Paul’s for a few years now, along with an array of flags, through its Fun with Flags program.  

  After the flag raising, everyone in attendance was invited back to St. Paul’s Anglican Church to enjoy a barbeque, with COVID guidelines in place.


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