Cambridge city hall is a little more colourful after a special flag raising to mark the start of Pride Month.

A small crowd gathered Thursday under a bright blue sky to watch as the inclusive Progress Flag was hoisted high above the city to kick off a month celebrating the LGBTQ2S+ community and acknowledging the discrimination they continue to face today.

For board members of the recently formed Grand River Pride organization, the event represents more than just a flag raising.

“I have never been able to take part in an event like this in all the years that I’ve been out," said Bryan Causarano, a Grand River Pride board member. "I’ve never been able to stand and actually see myself represented in a community in this way. Finally I feel like we fit in. I feel like there’s this whole energy of support around us. It feels wonderful.”

“Almost everybody here is an ally, and not even necessarily part of the queer community, but is just supportive and great because that’s what we do here,” Eric Bolton, another Grand River Pride board member, said.

Grand River Pride has a full slate of activities planned over the next two weeks to help celebrate Pride Month. Some of the events include a Pride Prom on June 2, 2023, a Family Fun Day on June 3, 2023, a Worship: Pride Service on June 4, 2023, and a Pride Street Party on June 10th, 2023.

Causarano said they do receive some push back to events like the flag raising.

"There are still people in our community who feel like having love out in the streets and having everybody represented is problematic. I think the big message that we have is: ‘you are welcome too.’ We want everybody to realize that it’s better to love everyone and it’s better to see everyone represented. So we hope that everyone will come down to the street full of love and see what’s possible when you have a community of people who actually care about each other.”

“The negative voices sometimes are the ones we focus on but really the ones that properly represent this community are voices of love and voices of support. Almost everybody here is an ally and not even necessarily part of the queer community but is just supportive and great because that’s what we do here,” Bolton adds.

The Cambridge sign at city hall will also be lit up in rainbow colours for the rest of the month in recognition of Pride 2023.