History of Roc Pride Week in July

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ROCHESTER, N.Y (WHEC) — The LGBTQ+ community says this year’s pride parade will be the biggest it’s ever been this year, making a significant comeback after two years because of COVID. We asked why Roc Pride week is in July and not June, which is known as Pride month.

Director of Rochester LGBTQ+ Together, Braden Reese says part of it is history.

"With Stonewall having happened in New York City in June, the anniversary of that, that’s when the big pride festival is and a lot of our local folks go to New York City for Pride,” Reese explained.

In June of 1969 people fought back against a police raid at the Stonewall Inn in New York City, sparking the LGBTQ+ rights movement. In 2016 the Stonewall National Monument in New York City became the first United States national monument dedicated to LGBTQ+ history.

“I always tell people we’re lucky here in Monroe County, and in Rochester, we get a bonus month of pride,” Reese added.

Reese says not only has pride acceptance come a long way, but the pride flag also has too. Reese held up the current pride flag and explained the colors, the symbols, and what they mean.

"It has all of the rainbow colors of the traditional pride flag as well as the black and brown stripe which is there to represent BIPOC community, as well as those lost to HIV and AIDS it has the trans color, is blue, pink, and white and then this is the part that was added to make it intersex inclusive.”

During a raising of the pride flag ceremony at Martin Luther King park Friday, Mayor Malik Evans celebrated Rochester’s 50 years of pride celebrations, marking July pride week.

“July 10 through the 17 July 2022 to be a week to celebrate 50 years of Rochester pride!,” the Mayor said.

Braden says there is a lineup of almost 200 people walking in the pride parade, not including the community members who hop in. On Monday next week, a pride flag will be put above city hall.