City News

Mayor Stoney, LGBTQ advocates raise Pride flag at City Hall for first time

Mayor Stoney and LGBTQ advocates raised a Pride flag at city hall to recognize the city’s annual PrideFest weekend.
“LGBTQ Richmonders should know that this city stands behind them,” said Mayor Stoney. “No matter who you love or how you identify, you are a valued member of our community deserving of love, support and justice.”
This is the first time in the city’s history a Pride flag has been raised at City Hall. The flag flies on the Broad Street side of the complex in recognition of the city’s annual PrideFest weekend. 
The city chose to raise the Progress Pride flag. The flag incorporates black and brown stripes and the colors of the Transgender Pride flag to represent the necessity for champions of the LGBTQ community to bring a racial justice, inclusive lens to the work.
“We chose the Progress Pride flag both for this moment and to represent our ongoing work,” said Mayor Stoney. “To build an equitable, inclusive city, we must move forward with intentional intersectionality. Nobody should be left behind.”
City officials were joined by James Millner, Interim Executive Director of Virginia Pride, Lacette Cross and Louise “Cheezi” Farmer, founders of Black Pride RVA, Zakia McKensey, founder of Nationz Foundation, and various other representatives of LGBTQ groups in Richmond.
At the event, James Millner presented Virginia Pride’s annual Firework Award, given individuals and organizations that are catalysts for change for the LGBTQ community. Past recipients include former Governor Terry McAuliffe, transgender activists Gavin Grimm and Zakia McKensey, Bill Harrison and Ted Lewis. This year’s recipient was Black Pride RVA.
“Richmond’s LGBTQ community is tremendously grateful to the mayor, the City Council and the City of Richmond for taking this historic step of raising a Pride flag at City Hall in recognition of RVA’s PrideFest weekend,” said James Millner, Interim Executive Director of Virginia Pride. “This gesture of inclusivity sends a powerful message that this city’s LGBTQ residents and visitors are not only welcome here but are celebrated as strong and vibrant threads of the fabric of Richmond.”
The mayor also issued a proclamation recognizing Virginia PrideFest weekend. You can read the proclamation here.
The flag will fly over City Hall through PrideFest weekend and the end of September to close out Virginia Pride Month.
Video of the flag raising will be available on the city’s YouTube channel.