Hudson makes history raising Pride flag

PHOTO BY JAMES ARMSTRONG

Hudson publicly celebrated diversity as Hudson Mayor Jamie Nicholls raised the Pride flag on Saturday, August 18 in front of Town Hall.

It was an historic moment in Hudson on Saturday, August 18 as Mayor Jamie Nicholls and council members raised the six colour Pride flag in front of the Town Hall building on Main Road.

“Today marks yet another milestone in the history of the LGBTQ2S movement,” said Nicholls who added that Hudson’s municipal government is open to the idea of celebrating diversity.

“Growing up here, I know it took great courage to come out in our little town. Small towns have a way of talking, not always to your face and I know that some of the people I grew up with just weren’t comfortable enough to stay,” he said. “Today, let’s turn the page and celebrate the diversity this flag represents.”

Hudson is the first municipal council in the region of Vaudreuil-Soulanges to officially raise the Pride flag during Quebec’s Pride Week which ended August 19.

Nicholls said Hudson has produced some great allies of the LGBTQ2S movement.

“In 1978, after having witnessed firsthand the ravages of AIDS on the community and the discrimination it brought forth, (former NDP leader) Jack Layton formed a team funded by the city of Toronto to educate people about the AIDS crisis. This week marks the passing of Jack seven years ago,” said Nicholls.

History of the flag

The mayor gave a brief history of the LGBTQ2S movement and its flag. He recounted that 47 years ago, LGBTQ activists called for end to all forms of state discrimination against them and two years later, the city of Toronto was the first municipal council in Canada to add an anti-discrimination law based on sexual orientation to their hiring policy.

“The rainbow flag, prior to representing pride, was used as a symbol of peace, renewal and social change,” said Nicholls. In 1978, Gilbert Baker, an American artist and openly gay activist designed the first gay pride flag originally composed of eight colours.

“Today, it is a six-colour flag, purple for spirit, blue or indigo for serenity, green for nature, yellow for sunlight, orange for healing and red for life and love,” said Nicholls.

“Wisdom says that hatred in the world does not cease by anger. Hatred ceases with love. Let’s raise this flag today in the name of love.”

Those attending the ceremony described it as a positive move on the part of the town.

“Even though we are a small group, it’s really touching that people came together to do this, regardless of being LGBTQ or not,” said Alain Girouard who recently moved from Montreal to Hudson.

“I’ve been coming to Hudson since 2008,” he said adding that he finally moved at the beginning of July.

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