For the first time, St. Charles is flying the Pride Flag at city hall

CHICAGO (CBS) — Leaders in west suburban St. Charles raised a rainbow flag outdoors city hall on Wednesday to have fun the begin of Pride Month, the first time the city has ever executed so.

It was a historic second as the LGBTQ+ Pride Flag was hoisted in the air outdoors St. Charles’ city hall, an indication for a lot of in the neighborhood that it is okay to be their true selves.

“I’ve lived here all my life, and this is the first time we’ve raised the Pride Flag. We’re very proud of it,” mentioned Mike Linder, vp and treasurer of Out in Fox Valley, a nonprofit devoted to rising LGBTQ+ acceptance.

“We need programs that make us feel included. We need events like this that make us feel safe and respected,” mentioned Michael Stroud, founder and president of Out in Fox Valley.

The second of elevating the Pride Flag is a technique of doing that.

The small group outdoors the St. Charles city constructing additionally used it the second to honor Michael Fairbanks, a younger LGBTQ+ advocate who handed away in 2013.

Loved ones mentioned Fairbanks was invested in ensuring younger individuals felt protected popping out.

“Michael opened hearts, he changed attitudes, and he improved many lives with his advocacy,” mentioned his mom, Denise. “We lost our sweet, funny, smart, fearless son nine years ago. Michael would be so proud to see his city embrace the LGBTQ community.”

As Pride Month kicks off, there are numerous occasions happening throughout the state this year, together with Chicago’s Pride Fest on June 18, and the iconic Chicago Pride Parade on June 26.

In St. Charles, the hope is to build upon this historic second.

“St. Charles has proven itself to be a very friendly place to live for LGBTQ people, and it takes people to just realize the power of their own voice,” Stroud mentioned.

Meantime, the St. Charles Park District is internet hosting its first Pride occasion at the Baker Community Center on June 15.

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