BROOMFIELD, Colo. – On Thursday morning, Broomfield officials kicked off the city’s month-long Pride celebration at city hall.
City leaders held a brief ceremony before raising an inclusivity flag.
“It’s a celebration of freedom to pursue a happy life according to one’s own terms, embracing our diversity, and in an affirming way, actually saves lives,” Broomfield Mayor Guyleen Castriotta said.
Castriotta, the first openly LGBTQ+ mayor of Broomfield, said the city first designated June as Pride month four years ago, but this year feels different.
“In case you haven’t been following the harmful and discriminatory legislation being passed around the country, the LGBTQ community is being targeted in almost every state,” Castriotta said. “And this legislative session alone, 490 bills were introduced or passed to strip the equality and freedom away from members of the LGBT community.”
Broomfield resident Katie Ragsdale said legislation passing in other states inspired her to take part in this years Pride kickoff event in Broomfield.
“I have my son, Ozzie, my husband, Ben and our daughter, Louise with me…my husband and I are originally from Arkansas, which is a great place, but it’s kind of a bummer to see the news and the way the legislation is leaning in those places. So it felt kind of important to come and ensure support for things that we believe in and are important to us,” Ragsdale said.
Castriotta said she hopes Broomfield’s Pride celebrations inspire residents to get to know their neighbors.
“My hope is that more people in our community that had been living in the shadows come out and meet the other folks in the community. The first time we had our Pride fest two years ago, I was overwhelmed with the amount of people that I didn’t even know lived here. It was same-sex parents. It was parents of trans kids, and they made an effort to come speak to me and my wife and and say, ‘Look, you can be whoever you want to be. She’s the mayor. She’s important. She has a wife,’” Castriotta said.
Broomfield will also hold a Pride parade on Saturday, June 3 at 10 a.m. followed by a celebration at Midway Park.
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