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Pride Month recognized in the City of Troy

Nathaniel Gray speaks at Troy's Pride Month kickoff on June 2nd, 2022
Lucas Willard
Nathaniel Gray speaks at Troy's Pride Month kickoff on June 2nd, 2022

Officials and LGBTQ+ advocates in the City of Troy hosted a ceremony Thursday marking June as Pride Month.

For the second year in a row, the rainbow flag was flown in the City of Troy.

At Riverfront Park North near City Hall, Pride Center of the Capital Region Executive Director Nathaniel Gray celebrated the Collar City’s downtown, which he says has become a welcoming place.

“Troy is a unique experience for the County of Rensselaer. Everywhere else does not exactly feel as safe as it feels down here. All right? Is that true? Can we agree with that? That’s not OK. Because while there are LGBTQ people – folks, kids, elderly folks – coming out every day, there’s also a transgender kid somewhere a home being mistreated by a family that believes that’s acceptable in our society today,” said Gray.

Tandra Lagrone is Executive Director of In Our Own Voices, a non-profit that provides services for LGBTQ+ communities of color.

“We still are such a resilient community. And together, working together that we are really unstoppable and we are mighty when we work together,” said Lagrone.

Pride events are scheduled throughout the month.

In Our Own Voices will host its Black and Latino Gay Pride event in Albany’s Washington Park on Saturday, June 11th. The following day, the Pride Center of the Capital Region hosts the Capital Pride parade and festival in the same spot.

Both organizations have expanded their services across the river from Albany. The Pride Center is currently in talks to partner with Unity House to provide services as the non-profit that provides housing seeks a grant to establish a drop-in space.

Deputy Mayor Chris Nolin was among officials representing the city and is also a member of the gay community…

“These organizations are vital to the LGBTQIA+ and BIPOC community. They have a long history of providing services to our region. We’re happy to see them expanded into the City of Troy. They are services that promote wellbeing of those affected by discrimination and increased visibility for those marginalized groups that are often overlooked or go unseen,” said Nolin.

Also present were Troy Mayor Patrick Madden, City Council President Carmella Mantello, 108th District State Assemblyman John McDonald, Pride Center Board Chair John Daniels, and Rensselaer County legislators.

County lawmakers Nina Nichols and Ken Zalewski read a proclamation establishing June as pride month in Rensselaer County.

Zalewski, a former Troy City Councilor, reflected on his first run for city council in 2007.

“Back then I was the first openly gay person to run for city council and win. And it was definitely a lonelier time for me back then. And now, to be joined such a supportive group of people – and especially to have a fellow LGBTQ member with me on the county [legislature] is fabulous. It’s absolutely fabulous,” said Zalewski.

For information on regional Pride events visit: https://www.518capitalpride.com/regional-pride-events-2022

The Pride Center of the Capital Region's Nathaniel Gray speaks about Pride Month 2022
The Pride Center of the Capital Region's Nathaniel Gray speaks about Pride Month 2022

Lucas Willard is a reporter and host at WAMC Northeast Public Radio, which he joined in 2011.