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Stanford holds first Gay Pride event June 4

STANFORD — When the notice came around proclaiming a celebration in Stanford in honor of Gay Pride, it was a first. It promises to be an exciting day.

The celebration of Pride Month each June began slowly, but it’s catching on quickly. In larger cities, it has been feted for many years, but in smaller towns and villages, the movement has progressed more slowly.

However, in this area alone, Millbrook Pride is already celebrating its sixth Pride event this year. And now neighboring Pine Plains is excited to be celebrating its first Pride Month event this year as well.

Since the 1970s, there have been events commemorating the rights of the LGBTQ community, following the now-famous Stonewall Inn riot in New York City and the Compton Cafeteria Riots in San Francisco.

When rioters resisted, one rallying cry was that of “Gay Pride.” So Pride Month began as a protest against unfair authority and all other injustices of the time. As more and more people joined the movement, it spread across the U.S. and eventually, throughout the world.

An international organization known as InterPride was formed as a means to organize many of the protests and to keep track of events in a number of large cities.

Today the celebrations and protests are mainstream, with some corporate sponsors using their company logos on rainbow-hued merchandise; these days many politicians join in Pride Day activities.

Pride flags are proudly displayed on homes and by businesses in the region. Communities gather together to celebrate the fact that people today may now enjoy the many personal freedoms those fought for so long and for so hard for so many years.   

The event in Stanfordville is being hosted by Stanford Pride and is scheduled for Saturday, June 4. It promises to be a fun and freeing day for all who attend.

It is open to the public, beginning at 12:30 p.m., with a reading of a proclamation at the Stanford Town Hall at 26 Town Hall Road. The movement has come a long way from the Stonewall Inn Riot on June 28, 1960, 53 years ago.

Following the reading of the proclamation, a caravan of cars, decorated for the occasion with rainbow flags, will proceed to Bangallworks at 97 Hunns Lake Road, where participants will be able to enjoy some entertaining live music and share some good food, BBQ and fashion with friends, both old and new. The day will run from 1 to 4 p.m.

Bangallworks is spacious, with a huge green lawn, so the celebration may be enjoyed indoors or outside.

It will be a wonderful opportunity to enjoy the beginning of summer, to meet new people and to learn more about the LGBTQ community.

The event is sponsored in part by Stanford, which has aptly coined the name for itself as “a Caring Community.”

For more information, go to www.stanfordpride.com or e-mail  stanfordprides@gmail.com.

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