Watertown making history with gay pride celebration

wwny Watertown making history with gay pride celebration

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - It's more than just rainbow flags and drag shows.

“For me it’s about letting them have the chance to express themselves and not have to hide,” said Katie Taylor, a proud ally to the LGBTQ community as her son Gavin is a member.

The first Watertown Pride Celebration kicks off at the end of this month.

“It’ll start out on Friday the 21st so it’ll kickoff here at the Paddock and then at some other establishments just with a celebration,” said Cari Knight, organizer.

There are a lot of people looking forward to the event, like Katie Taylor.

She teaches acceptance and courage to students at Alexandria Central School, where she oversees the Gender Sexuality Alliance. She says Watertown’s Pride weekend is a step in the right direction for spreading acceptance and awareness.

“I’m very excited about the pride event that’s coming up. I’ve always wanted to go to a pride event, and the fact that we’re having one here in Watertown is wonderful because the more small towns that do that, we can just build up the visual so that we can see how many people are LGBTQ in our community and not just the LGBTQ but the allies, the advocates, the families, just everyone that’s there to support them,” said Taylor.

Taylor has been selling shirts that say “free mom hugs” and will be showing some love at the pride celebrations.

“I love to give lots of hugs. That’s an easy job for me,” she said.

The weekend celebration will have a drag show, gatherings at local businesses, and a historic moment for city hall.

On Saturday, June 22, for the first time ever, the gay pride flag will wave over Watertown.

Money raised by purchasing “pride passes” or t-shirts will go toward the Q-Center in Watertown, which is a safe space for LGBTQ teens.

“It’s just about love, acceptance and positivity, that’s all. That’s all anybody wants, that’s all the community wants,” said Knight.

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