They can stop us from raising our flag, but never our spirit!
Friends, family and allies, we'd like to thank you for the outpouring of support over the last 48 hours which has been truly exceptional. Thank you to our partner organizations, businesses, political leaders, family, friends and allies.
As a community, we encountered a hiccup on the road to hope, inclusion and equality this week. But that hiccup has given us a perfect opportunity to take pause and reframe the unfortunate incident. Work has already begun to make positive changes moving forward to ensure this doesn't happen again.
The City of Reading, the Human Relations Commission and city council DO support our community and DID vote to hoist the flag. It was ONE man that decided against it. It's really important to remember that the city as a whole, IS and has been supportive; please don't lose sight of that. Our city is a rainbow melting pot and it's important to recognize and celebrate it.
More importantly, this is not just about a flag flying for a week. It's bigger than that. This is about the people of our community and the work we do EVERY DAY for our LGBTQ+ youth, adults and seniors. The flag represents hope for a community that has endured marginalization and discrimination since the beginning of time.
We PRIDE ourselves in the work we do for our community in providing the "hope" the flag represents. The LGBT Center of Greater Reading offers programs, services and events throughout the year, in addition to professional development training for businesses and organizations. We are a volunteer led organization that works passionately and tirelessly every day to ensure a positive impact on our community, and our city. We come from all walks of life and celebrate that diversity. We recognize the need for services and are constantly evolving to best meet those needs. WE WILL CONTINUE TO SERVE WITH PURPOSE AND POSITIVITY. And, we welcome any support or assistance you may be able to provide. There's a lot of work to do and together, we can do more.
For those in our community that cannot live their lives authentically right now; for those that encounter discrimination/abuse; for those who are couch surfing or without a home; for those who are encountering bullying; and for the entire community as a whole - the LGBT Center is here for you.
As we approach our Pride celebration, keep in mind, we DO have a lot to celebrate. We have made progress and we will continue to do so. Stand proudly, use your voice in a positive manner, thank our allies and rally on behalf of those that cannot be there to celebrate.
The Reading Pride Celebration has worked incredibly hard in preparing for the event on Sunday. If you see any of their members - thank them for their efforts in providing a wonderful celebration of our community.
Lastly, we thank our neighbors in West Reading for OFFERING and hanging the flag in support of our community.