SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — Wednesday marks the beginning of national Pride Month which celebrates LGBTQIA plus communities and the progress that’s been made over the years.
At San Joaquin Delta College the Progress Pride flag was raised for the first time on campus this afternoon and will fly for the rest of the month. The college said it’s the start of a new tradition.
“This is indeed a historic moment, and moments have histories. And those histories include moments of joy and moments of struggle,” Dr. Ricky Gutierrez-Maldonado, with the Pride Center, said.
“When we see ourselves represented, it is such a massive relief — a signal that supports us and tells us we are OK even if it’s just for that moment,” Professor Kirstyn Rusell said.
Delta college student and activisit James Patnaude said seeing the flag fly means progress in more ways than one after being accidentally outed as transgender by a professor and experiencing harassment on campus.
“I feel like something is finally changing here on campus, and I’m excited to see how things are going to change further,” Patnaude said.
He found safety in the campus pride center where he’s continued to work toward better treatment of LGBTQIA plus students.
“People from the LGTBQIA plus community need to know that they are wanted on Delta’s campus. They deserve to be recognized and celebrated for the rich contributions they bring to our community at Delta,” Professor Melissa Neal said.
The Progress Pride differs from the traditional rainbow flag to include people of color, transgender and non-binary communities.
“Students will walk onto campus and see themselves celebrated in the flag, Russell said. “They are seeing that they’re visible on campus, that we actually care about you and that we are here for you. And you’re supported when you come here.”