NEPA lets their colors fly for Pride month

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SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – It’s pride month and the Electric City was the first to raise the official flag.

It was an intimate and powerful ceremony outside Scranton City Hall as a community came together to show their pride.

“We have a very small community so for that community to be able to be seen publicly phenomenal,” said Tabetha Lepine, a board member of the Queer NEPA organization.

It’s been an isolating year for most including the LGBTQ+ community.

“Jokingly, I was like we were kind of put back in the closet for a year,” stated Lepine.

But some readjusting and online networking has helped to empower.

“As a community, I think it’s made us stronger. Because we have to rely on each other more,” said Lepine.

Celebrating Pride in person is a major milestone as we eye the end of the pandemic. Events as simple as raising the Pride flag outside of city hall with political and religious officials offering support go a long way in celebrating the progress.

“This month is a time to celebrate and to promote the dignity, equality and increased visibility of LGBTQ people. And fortunately, we’ve come a long way over the last half-century,” said Reverend ‘mother’ Rebecca Barnes, of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church.

With June comes a reminder to take strength from those who have trailblazers, like Harvey Milk, Sylvia Rivera, Marsha P. Johnson and more.

“Don’t give up. Stand strong, stand side by side with your brothers and sisters of the LGBT+ community,” said Nicole Hall.

And the good victories will come.

“Just to know that people accept that we exist is kind of cool,” said Lepine.

“Love does not exclude and we are all worthy,” stated Reverend Barnes.

Groups like Queer NEPA and the Rainbow Alliance have a full list of events planned to celebrate pride month back in person:

That continues Wednesday with a Pride flag raising at the VA Medical Center in Plains Township.

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