BURLINGTON, Vt. (WFFF) – Around the country, June is Pride month, celebrated to honor the 1969 Stonewall uprising in New York City.
In Burlington, Vermont’s largest city, pride celebrations happen in September. Pride Center Vermont’s Communications Director Justin Marsh says this is to make sure Queen City celebrations don’t coincide with larger ones around the country.
It also allows college students to participate when they come back in the fall.
“In September, we prefer the weather a little bit, the college students will be back in session and in town and it’s just better not to compete with major metropolitan areas,” said Marsh.
Marsh says the Pride Center will be meeting with the city this week to discuss September’s celebrations.
“Typically, we’ll do like a climbing night, a bowling night, kayaking, and bike rides. We, of course, have the parade down Church Street and a festival that follows it in on one Burlington’s parks,” said Marsh.
“Living in Vermont my entire life really helped formed me as a person and be comfortable with my identity and the pride parade was something that helped me come out to my own parents,” said Rice Memorial High School junior Grace Kline.
Kline is a member of the LGBTQ+ community. She says her school’s Student Diversity Union does a good job promoting Pride awareness. She particularly enjoys seeing Church Street decorated for Pride Month and the parade in September.
“Pride Month in Vermont is a really awesome time for the community to come together, especially with how progressive our state is and with Church Street putting up the LGBT flag,” said Kline.
Outright Vermont is an advocacy center for LGBTQ+ youth.
“It’s really exciting that it’s pride month and really what we’re doing is work for a Vermont where youth can feel proud, and safe, and celebrated for exactly who they are every single day of the year,” said Executive Director Dana Kaplan.
He says the center plans to host their annual Fire Truck Pull in the fall. Until then, he is happy to announce the return of in-person social and support programs.
“Really what we are here doing is small things every day to make sure that youth have the safety and support that they need,” said Kaplan.
Vermonters say it’s what makes the Green Mountain State special.
“Vermont is very progressive I think and it’s a very friendly place for minorities and the LGBT community and it’s part of what makes it special,” said Bolton resident Adam Deslauriers.
Kline thinks so, too.
“It’s just a really encouraging community and it helps a lot of kids especially feel safe and comfortable within their own sexualities and orientations,” she said.