Elected Officials Raise Pride Flag at Town Hall to Mark Pride Month

Written by Kade Tibberts, GHS Class of 2021

The Pride flag will fly over Greenwich Town Hall during the month of June.

A flag-raising ceremony was held on Thursday, June 10. Greenwich First selectman Fred Camillo, former selectman Drew Marzullo, and Congressman Jim Himes all shared kind words before putting their hands together to raise the flag. It now flies alongside the American flag and Connecticut state flag.

In his speech, Mr. Marzullo emphasized that there was a real purpose to flying the Pride flag. He described it as “an opportunity to show a 10 year old, a gay child, who might feel different or singular that they are not alone.”

Congressman Jim Himes talked about how the pride flag served to “acknowledge and celebrate” the LGBTQ+ community. To acknowledge their past and current discrimination, but also to celebrate the progress that has been made. “My god, what a story of progress,” he said.

Greenwich First Selectman Fred Camillo, US Congressman Jim Himes, and Former Selectman Drew Marzullo raised the pride flag over Greenwich Town Hall. June 10, 2021. Photo: Kade Tibberts
Greenwich First Selectman Fred Camillo, US Congressman Jim Himes, and former Greenwich Selectman Drew Marzullo gave speeches at a flag-raising ceremony in front of Town Hall. June10, 2021 Photo: Kade Tibberts

In a separate interview, Marzullo said there was more acceptance of LGBTQ+ people today. Still, he said, “There are people in the United States who don’t have that….We are hoping people are going to see this and say, ‘It’s okay [to be LGBTQ+].’ Because it is okay.”

Marzullo mentioned that the Town holds numerous flag-raising ceremonies at the Town Hall because it is both a busy and noticeable location.

“To see the gay flag in 2021, flying on a street that is very visible, in front of Greenwich Town Hall—it does say something,” he said.

In addition to the large pride flag itself, the front of the building was decorated with small pride flags and lawn signs reading “#GreenwichHasPride.”

The ceremony was met with a small crowd of supportive onlookers, in addition to the joyful honks of passing cars. Captain James Bonney of the Greenwich Police played the bagpipes.

#GreenwichHasPride sign with small Pride flags and American flags, in front of town hall. June 10, 2021 Photo: Kade Tibberts

In an interview, Himes explained the value of the ceremony.

“It is symbolic, but somewhere there is a high school kid who is nervous about coming out. But when they see Democrats and Republicans, a Congressman, a First Selectman and a police officer saying, ‘It’s okay. You should be proud of your identity,’—that makes a difference,” he said.

The ceremony works in concert with other local Pride celebrations and resources, especially those aimed at LGBTQ+ youth. 

Also, Wells Noonan launched a campaign of lawn signs that have a Pride flag and say “#GreenwichHasPride.”

Multiple signs were featured at the flag-raising ceremony. This raises money to support the Kids in Crisis’ “Lighthouse Program,” which will act as a safe space for queer youth in Fairfield County when it opens in the fall. 

Other Pride-related events are being celebrated by the GHS Gay Straight Alliance club and by the Triangle Community Center in Norwalk.

Former Greenwich Selectman Drew Marzullo raised the Pride flag with the help of First Selectman Fred Camillo and Congressman Jim Himes. June 10, 2021 Photo: Kade Tibberts

Drew Marzullo was the driving force in the flag-raising ceremony.

He previously organized an event to raise the Pride flag after the shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. 

Himes thanks the generally inclusive and supportive environment of Greenwich for being able to hold events like the one on Thursday.

“The citizens of Greenwich are wonderful,” he said. “It is a traditionally conservative town, yet here we are celebrating LGBTQ+ pride.”

Marzullo said he felt lucky to live in Greenwich with his husband and child, when so many other people cannot live in such an accepting place. 

Lastly, while looking at the flags flying above town hall, he said, “It is a beautiful flag. We have three beautiful flags.”