Monday, June 1 marks the beginning of Pride Month. Last year at this time, we had a flag-raising for the Pride flag at both the Madison Municipal Building and the City County Building. We served cakes decorated with rainbows. We celebrated the five-year anniversary of dozens of couples who were married on the steps on the City County Building in 2014. We sang along with Perfect Harmony Chorus. It was an incredibly moving and memorable evening! Last year I was also able to march with thousands of people in New York City to mark 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots.
As Madison’s first lesbian Mayor, it was an honor to mark the event with celebrations and, well, with pride. I heard from many people - City employees, Madison residents and some from other areas - that they so appreciated the acknowledgement of their lives, their contributions and their rights.
This year Pride Month will be quieter - no parades, no serving cake to the masses, no flag raising ceremony - but we will fly the Pride flag, and we will light the Madison Municipal Building with rainbow lights. COVID-19 has changed all of our lives, but it does not change our pride, or my appreciation for the respect the LGBTQ community receives in Madison.
I urge you to mark the month in your own way - fly a flag, bake a rainbow cake, and tell the LGBTQ folks in your life you are proud of them. In 2021, I look forward to a return to less physically distanced celebrations!
Stay well, please wear your facial covering and wash your hands!