Soledad becomes first South Monterey County city to fly Progress Flag

On Monday, the city of Soledad raised the LGBTQ Progress Pride flag— becoming the first city in South Monterey County to fly to fly an LGBTQ-related flag. Many described the move as inclusive and joyous. Soledad resident Karen Alfaro said, “It makes me extremely happy and I honestly feel like I’m going to cry because I know that like years ago this was wasn’t possible.”President of Salinas Valley Pride Celebrations, Eric Mora, says it’s a historic moment. “Unless you’re being really intentional by inviting people in, people assume that you’re not they’re not invited. So I think it’s a really powerful statement to have the pride flag up at City Hall,” Mora said. Instead of the rainbow Pride flag, the city raised the newer Progress Pride flag, which is more inclusive, representing people of color and those who are fighting for or have died from HIV or aids. “The progressive flag incorporates the pink and white and baby blue for the trans flag, as well as black and brown stripes in solidarity of the intersection of identities that the LGBTQ community has,” Mora said.Despite some people who showed up against the flag flying, many residents and city leaders came to celebrate. City Mayor Ann Velasquez says the flying of the flag comes after a new policy was put into place two months ago and that raising the flag is crucial for inclusivity. “Every person matters regardless, that every person deserves to be treated with respect, with dignity, to be accepted and to be loved and to be treated with compassion,” Velasquez said.More than fabric, the flag symbolizes much more to residents. “I don’t think I’d be I would have been standing here 15 years ago due to my identity. I never really saw the future. I think as the flag was raised, it really brings it back full circle and I’m really proud to be a Soledad resident,” long-time resident Fernando Ansaldo said.The Progress Pride flag will fly for the month of October in celebration of LGBTQ Pride month.

On Monday, the city of Soledad raised the LGBTQ Progress Pride flag— becoming the first city in South Monterey County to fly to fly an LGBTQ-related flag.

Many described the move as inclusive and joyous.

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Soledad resident Karen Alfaro said, “It makes me extremely happy and I honestly feel like I’m going to cry because I know that like years ago this was wasn’t possible.”

President of Salinas Valley Pride Celebrations, Eric Mora, says it’s a historic moment.

“Unless you’re being really intentional by inviting people in, people assume that you’re not they’re not invited. So I think it’s a really powerful statement to have the pride flag up at City Hall,” Mora said.

Instead of the rainbow Pride flag, the city raised the newer Progress Pride flag, which is more inclusive, representing people of color and those who are fighting for or have died from HIV or aids.

“The progressive flag incorporates the pink and white and baby blue for the trans flag, as well as black and brown stripes in solidarity of the intersection of identities that the LGBTQ community has,” Mora said.

Despite some people who showed up against the flag flying, many residents and city leaders came to celebrate. City Mayor Ann Velasquez says the flying of the flag comes after a new policy was put into place two months ago and that raising the flag is crucial for inclusivity.

“Every person matters regardless, that every person deserves to be treated with respect, with dignity, to be accepted and to be loved and to be treated with compassion,” Velasquez said.

More than fabric, the flag symbolizes much more to residents.

“I don’t think I’d be I would have been standing here 15 years ago due to my identity. I never really saw the future. I think as the flag was raised, it really brings it back full circle and I’m really proud to be a Soledad resident,” long-time resident Fernando Ansaldo said.

The Progress Pride flag will fly for the month of October in celebration of LGBTQ Pride month.

Contributed by local news sources

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