Holliston Pride Flag a Symbol of InclusionJun 30, 2020 11:32AM ● By J.D. O’Gara
At noon, on June 12th, residents of Holliston gathered for a historic occasion, the hanging of an LGBTQ Pride flag on the face of Holliston Town Hall.
Barbara Fritts Worby addressed those assembled, spaced out for social distancing, thanking town officials and workers for making it happen, including Tina Hein and Donna Muzzy. She thanked Hingham Pride for donating a flag for the event. She also harkened to the late 1960s, when it was illegal to engage in gay behavior and police would raid gay bars.
“Violent police raids were routine,” she said, and on the night of the Stonewall Riots, it was transgender women who fought back. That fight continues today, said Fritts Worby.
“Today, transgender women of color are dying at alarming rates,” she said. “We cannot limit our families to those who love like us or look like us.” She encouraged the group to “fight for all marginalized (people),” ending with, “if you’re not a white male, a lot of people have fought for the right for you to vote, so go and exercise it.”
For Andrew Evans, who grew up in Holliston, the flag being proudly raised, meant a lot.
“Holliston has always been a very nice town. Growing up in schools, we were always taught tolerance, but there was a secret gay Facebook page. Having this be on the front page of what Holliston is, is really the complete reversal of that; it’s saying a lot, be out and proud.”
“It’s important the town took a stand on inclusion. If you don’t want to put the Pride flag, you’re saying you’re not supportive of gay rights,” said Fritts Worby, following her public remarks. She cautioned against what she called The Politeness Protocol, or polite pushback against change. It might not be name calling, but it is subtle resistance to change.
Trudy Cross, founder of Holliston Pride, agreed. ““If you’re just nice, you’re still not really doing anything.”
The first Pride flag appeared in 1978, created by openly gay artist and drag queen Gilbert Baker, who later noted he was asked to create the symbol of pride by California’s first openly gay elected official, Harvey Milk. (Brittanica.com) In today’s Pride flag, each stripe of the rainbow represents a sector of the LGBTQ community. Pride flags that openly display black and brown stripes specifically champion black and brown LGBTQ people. (www.oprahmag.com).