PEI

No official flag raising, but still plenty of Pride flags in Alberton

On the International Day Against Homophobia, Biophobia and Transphobia, there was no Pride flag raised at the town hall in Alberton. 

Many people showed their support on the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia

While there was no official flag raising, there were still Pride flags on display in Alberton to mark the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia. (Jessica Doria-Brown/CBC)

On the International Day Against Homophobia, Biophobia and Transphobia, there was no Pride flag raised at the town hall in Alberton, P.E.I. 

Town council voted unanimously earlier this week against flying the Pride flag. 

But even so, there were plenty of rainbows on display — at several roundabouts on the road to Alberton, at the entrance to the town, and throughout the town as well. 

"I've been hearing from a lot of people who've been buying up flags and and running their own flags," said Michelle Arsenault, who works in Alberton.

Flags sold quickly at dollar store

Brenda Blanchard works at the local dollar store, where she says many people stopped by the store to buy rainbow flags. 

"They really wanted a lot of the big ones but we just kept on going and we're selling them so fast we can't keep up with them," Blanchard said. 

At the dollar store in Alberton where she works, Brenda Blanchard says Pride flags sold quickly. (Jessica Doria-Brown/CBC)

She says business has been steady since town council decided not to fly the Pride flag, with people wanting one of their own to help show support for members of the LGBTQ community.   

"They are just talking about how it's sad that they are stopping it in Alberton, it's the talk of the street up here today."

'Be visible'

Meanwhile other communities on P.E.I. did raise the Pride flag — including Charlottetown, Cornwall, Summerside and Borden-Carleton. 

Other P.E.I. communities, including Charlottetown, did raise the Pride flag to mark the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia. (Tom Steepe/CBC)

While there was no Pride flag on the Alberton town flag poles, just out front of town hall, two Summerside residents made sure the colours were still on display there, standing out front and waving flags of their own.

"I'm a mother of a queer youth in Prince County, and I felt it important for any other youth in this area who doesn't see themselves represented in their community, to be visible here today," said Diana Carver.

With no Pride flag raised at Alberton town hall, Diana Carver waved a flag out front. (Jessica Doria-Brown/CBC)

She says it's important that the message of acceptance is visible across P.E.I.

"I think that the kind of attention that this has drawn to Alberton is not great, and hopefully next year they will take a little more time at council to reconsider putting up a Pride flag."

Alberton Mayor David Gordon won't make any promises about next year, but he says at its next meeting, council plans to discuss the idea of establishing a policy around flag raising.

More P.E.I. news

With files from Jessica Doria-Brown

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