For the first time ever the City of Trenton is flying the rainbow flag throughout the month of June in celebration of LGBTQ+ Pride. The flag will fly in front of Trenton’s City Hall thanks to a proposal from the city’s Cultural Commission that passed unanimously.
“With Pride month coming up, we thought this would be a way to celebrate a historically significant piece of our city codes and ordinances,” said Cultural Commission Chair Patrick Taylor. “In 2013, we were the first downriver community to pass an ordinance that extended the Title VI Nondiscrimination Clause to include sexual orientation, gender identity, and HIV status under its protections. We were the 24th city and 31st municipality in the state to do so.”
As with the passing the non-discrimination ordinance, Taylor said he believes Trenton is the first downriver city to fly the Pride flag. The downriver community includes the cities of River Rouge, Ecorse, Melvindale, Wyandotte, Lincoln Park, Allen Park, Taylor, Southgate, Riverview, Flat Rock, Rockwood, Grosse Ile and Trenton. Taylor, who only recently became the cultural commission chair, said that passage of the plan to raise the flag was swift.
“It passed exceptionally fast,” he said. “Of the two council members who still have a seat that voted on the ordinance in 2013, one of them voted against it; but he did not protest our commission’s recommendation in any capacity.”
Taylor said he has big plans for the commission.
“It gives our group the opportunity to showcase the diversity — artistic, cultural, sociological, etc. — within our community, which is too often perceived as homogeneous. And, don’t get me wrong, we are by most understandings of the word, indeed homogenous — my brother and I were the only Native American students in the school system in 2007 when I graduated from Trenton High — but color isn’t the only thing that makes us diverse and awesome.
“Although it’s extraordinarily important to bring that into the conversations whenever necessary,” Taylor continued. “It is otherwise a disservice to our community and its youth to ignore not only the disparities and adversities that racial minorities have had to overcome — especially in 2020-2021 — but also to celebrate all of the awesome things that are happening.”