HUMBOLDT — For the founder of Humboldt Pride, seeing the rainbow pride flag being raised at Humboldt City Hall shows that LGBTQ2S people don’t have to go to the big city to find support.
“That was the that was the goal when we started Humboldt Pride,” said Andrew Matheson moments after the flag was raised on Aug. 19 to launch Pride Week.
Matheson was also part of an effort to establish Rainbow Coffee, a safe place for LGBTQ2S youth to hang out.
“You don't need to be in the city to ask a supportive person the questions that you may have or to find people like you. You're not alone in those small communities.”
Support for youth was a theme among the speakers at the flag raising.
“By raising the pride flag at Humboldt City Hall, we demonstrate to community members – and most importantly our young people – that we welcome and celebrate all identities and cultures sends a powerful message to our students,” Darrell Paproski, Horizon's superintendent of student services, told the crowd at city hall.
Rob Muench, Humboldt’s mayor, said events like the flag raising and pride week brings the city closer to its goal of having a safe, inclusive community.
The flag raising was a demonstration of an inclusive community for Matheson
“It really shows that allyship to support the LGBTQ2S community,” he said. “At the same time, it also helps bring the community together and help remove that marginalization of the queer community.”
That said, Matheson said there’s a lot more work to be done. He said Humboldt Pride has met with the city to find more ways to be more inclusive. As well, Matheson said he believes Humboldt Pride need to expand, becoming more accessible to other people as well.
“I had a lot of people email me this month or this year for Humboldt Pride 2019 asking if we were doing a parade, so there's a lot of people that are interested in an event like that.”
Events for Humboldt Pride week continue all this week. Tonight, at 6:30 pm, there is a prayer service at Civic Park featuring guest preacher Rev. Mitchell Anderson.
On Aug. 20, there is a coffee house at Westminster United for youth 12 to 19.
On Aug. 22, there is rainbow bowling at Kemway Lanes.
On, Aug. 23 and Aug. 24 there will be a booth at StreetFest for people to come and ask questions. There will also be rainbow baking and a button maker.