Aurora raises Pride Flag, celebrates LGBTQ community members

Music, motivational speeches, and a myriad rainbow flags filled downtown Aurora on Friday, June 7, as the city kicked off its Pride Weekend.

The city of Aurora held its third annual Pride Flag Raising ceremony, which concluded with drag performer Keri Traid, a proud trans-Black woman who was born and raised in Aurora, hoisting the Progressive Pride Flag.

“As a young child, I could never have predicted where life would take me, but I always knew I wanted to make a difference,” shared Traid. “Now, I'm proud to be an advocate for my community and to find my true self as a trans woman, a Black trans woman.”

Traid was one of several recipients of the Mayor's Pride & Excellence Award, which is given each year to members of Aurora's LGBTQ community and allies.

The other 2024 award recipients were: Rich Jacobs, the chief of staff of the Aurora Aldermen's Office, whose husband is Judge John Dalton of the 16th Judicial Circuit of Kane County; and Alitro Latin Fusion Restaurant. This downtown Aurora business hosts drag brunches and supports the LGBTQ community.

Mayor Irvin also issued the city's Pride Month proclamation, which he presented to commissioners on the city's LGBTQ advisory board.

Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin, left, speaks at the city’s third annual Pride Flag Raising ceremony downtown on Friday, June 7, kicking off Pride Weekend. Courtesy of City of Aurora

“We honor the brave activists of the 1969 Stonewall riots, whose collective stand against oppression ignited the modern LGBTQ+ rights movement,” said Zachary Bishop, chairman of the Aurora LGBTQ Advisory Board.

The flag-raising ceremony opened the 2024 Pride Weekend in Aurora, which features several events, including the annual Pride Parade at noon on Sunday, June 9.

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