A crowd gathered outside LaSalle Town Hall on June 1 to support the raising of the LBGTQ+ flag and the beginning of the LaSalle Proud program.
Nancy Campana, the organizer of Run for Rocky was the emcee for the short ceremony that kicked off Pride Month. Included in the weekend of Pride in LaSalle, was the ribbon cutting for the new rainbow crosswalk that can be seen at the entrance of Zehrs.
She said she thinks a majority of the town who want to see inclusive symbols in their community.
“I think a lot of people are thirsty for diversity training, and we will be offering that for free if there’s enough demand for it,” said Campana. “People are proud to live here, they’re proud to be welcoming and open to diversity. There’s been cities that have been transformed and towns that have been completely transformed because they put a focus on being a diverse community who welcomes everyone, and everyone benefits from that in a town … Just yesterday morning, I sat at that rainbow crosswalk and I saw that shift for the first time, as people walked into the Zehrs. I saw parents saying to their kids, ‘isn’t this beautiful?’ The number of senior residents who came up to me yesterday and said ‘it’s about time, it’s 2022, this is wonderful’ and personally thanked us was great to see.”
LaSalle Deputy Mayor, Crystal Meloche, said when the Town was asked to have a rainbow crosswalk and raise the Pride flag two years ago, the response from residents was not what she was expecting – in a negative way. Since then, however, something has changed, and people are becoming more open-minded to the idea of showing support for the initiative.
“This flag flying in LaSalle shows that doesn’t matter who you are, or what you are. We love you, and you’re part of our community. That it’s okay, you’re safe here,” said Meloche. “I think the most important part is to those people in our community who, maybe aren’t out yet – it’s showing them that it’s safe and they’ll be accepted.”
According to the University of Northern Colorado, The Progress Pride Flag was first introduced in 2018 by Daniel Quasar. The flag has been adapted from the Baker Pride Flag (1978) also known as the “Retro 8” pride flag, and the Philadelphia Pride Flag (2017) which was introduced as a part of the city of Philadelphia’s “More Color More Pride” campaign.
Quasar kept the original rainbow flag six colors to honor their meaning with an addition of the Trans flag, Black, and Brown arrow that points to the right to signify forward movement within LGBTQ+ rights.
“This new design forces the viewer to reflect on their own feelings towards the original Pride flag and its meaning as well as the differing opinions on who that flag really represents, while also bringing into clear focus the current needs within our community,” said Quasar in an interview.
Black and Brown: Black and Lantinx Queer Communities
Transgender Flag (White, Pink and Baby Blue): Transgender Communities
Brenda Bot-Drake works at Zehrs and came up with the idea for a rainbow crosswalk in the Town of LaSalle. She approached Campana for help to make the project happen and said she is proud to see the completed crosswalk and the support of the town.
“We have to show our inclusivity our acceptance, our welcoming, and our overall just our love for everyone in our community, no matter who you are, how you identify no matter choices on who you love. You are, you are part of our community. We welcome you, You’re safe. You’re part of our community. We love you, everyone. Everyone needs to be treated with respect and dignity, period.”
It was also announced the Pride Fest and Run for Rocky will be making a comeback since being forced to cancel the last couple of years for Covid-19.