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Door County Residents Help Hoist Pride Flag in Madison

The Pride flag no longer flies for June Pride month at any County of Door properties after the Door County Board of Supervisors adopted a new flag policy last October that allows only the display of the American flag, the State of Wisconsin flag, the County of Door flag, POW-MIA flags and military flags.

The county owns 15 flagpoles and raised the rainbow-colored Pride flag in June for Pride Month in 2022 and 2023 at one of those poles – the government center in downtown Sturgeon Bay.

The new flag policy abolished that practice, yet Open Door Pride’s founder and chair, Sturgeon Bay resident Cathy Grier, was still able to take a role in the ceremony of hoisting a pride flag at a government property, this one that flies above the East Wing of the Wisconsin State Capitol.

Invited by Gov. Tony Evers, Grier traveled to Madison for the ceremony May 31 (before she put on her blues singer/musician hat for a performance that evening in Fond du Lac) and made a short speech, reminding those in attendance why the Pride flag is important as a symbol of support and an acknowledgment that those in the LGBTQ+ community are seen and valued.

Flanked by Gov. Tony Evers and his invited guests for the raising of the Pride flag in Madison, Cathy Grier of Sturgeon Bay, founder of Open Door Pride and chair of its board, delivers a short speech. Photo by Darrick DeMeuse.

“It is no stretch of the truth that the LGBTQ community has suffered discrimination,” Grier said. “But we’ve also been welcomed. Open Door Pride is a wonderful example of that, and over the past eight years, we have seen Door County become more welcoming and open. And we welcome you to come see for yourselves. And now, with today’s flag raising, we celebrate being welcomed at the state level.”

Grier brought along with her a framed photo of the Governor and his wife, Kathy, with their What’s My Pride sayings written on a small blackboard, photos taken when Grier was invited to attend a reception at the governor’s residence in March in honor of Women’s History Month.

Open Door is displaying this year’s What’s My Pride project at M3 at 142 S. 3rd Ave. in Sturgeon Bay. 

On June 8, viewers of that exhibit can snap a pic at the self station to be a part of it. To learn more about this, and other events coming from Door County’s two pride organizations – Open Door and Northern Door – see this week’s Art & Entertainment section, or go do doorcountypulse.com.

Evers ordered the Pride flag flown for the first time in state history in 2019 – at first, the Rainbow Pride flag, and starting in 2022, the Progress Pride flag. The Progress Pride Flag is an eight-stripe version of the rainbow Pride flag, with five stripes in a chevron design added to the original rainbow – black and brown stripes to represent people of color, and pink, blue and white stripes to represent the trans community.

Evers said May 31 that the flag is a symbol of his and his administration’s resolve to stand with LGBTQ+ Wisconsinites, including, he said, trans and gender non-conforming kids. 

“Every day, through our words and our actions, we will keep working to build a Wisconsin that is more welcoming, more inclusive and more just for everyone,” he said.

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