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Nelson City Council is flying the Pride flag in honour of Nelson Pride Week.
The flag will be raised at Civic House on Wednesday, 14 April, in celebration of the inaugural Nelson Pride Week, which runs from 14-20 April.
Mayor Rachel Reese said flying the Pride flag was just one of several ways Council is showing support for the LGBTQIA+ community.
“Hopefully, flying the flag will help raise awareness and prompt some meaningful conversations about how we can all be more supportive and inclusive of the LGBTQIA+ community, well beyond the festival week. Diversity is something that should be celebrated, and I commend our LGBTQIA+ community for doing just that.”
In February, Council’s Infrastructure Committee voted to install a rainbow crossing in the central city.
Plans for the crossing’s design and exact location are progressing, with Council talking to the community about options.
City Centre Engagement Group Chair Mel Courtney reiterated the significance of raising the Pride flag.
“This flag-raising is important. We are a place where our differences are recognised, accommodated and interwoven into the very fabric of our community and civic culture.”
Last month, Council held a staff Pride Month designed to raise awareness and money. Staff organised a fundraising morning tea with proceeds going to support Q-Youth.
At Elma Turner Library, Council’s librarians had a Pride display in March and curated a collection of titles that celebrate LGBTQIA+ communities. Free “Read the Rainbow” bookmarks are also available that include reading suggestions for young children through to young adults.
Council is also a member of the Safe Space Alliance, which means it is a safe space where members of the LGBTQIA+ community can freely express themselves without fear and be free from violence, bullying, and hate speech.
Deputy Mayor Judene Edgar said it was fantastic that Council was showing such support for Pride.
“Acknowledging Pride is an opportunity to reflect, to consider the discrimination and inequality that LGBTQIA+ people still face today, and to consider what more we all need to do to celebrate diversity.”
Nelson Pride Coordinator Aimée Borlase said, “We are very pleased to have the support of Council in our Pride Week endeavours, we hope this will be the start of a new, collaborative relationship between Council and the LGBTQIA+ people of Nelson.”
The Nelson Pride Week starts with Rainbow Pride History night, part of Tuku 21 Whakatū Heritage Month, and is held at Founders Heritage Park. The free event, from 6pm-8pm on 14 April, offers an opportunity to sit down and speak with some of Nelson’s “Pride pioneers”. Bookings for the event can be made by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
For other Nelson Pride Week events, please see https://www.facebook.com/nelsonpridenz.