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Pride Month gets underway in Doylestown with flag raisings


More than 100 people, some draped in Pride flags, others sporting rainbow-colored shirts, scarves and hats, gathered on the lawn of the Bucks County Administration Building in Doylestown Thursday to mark the beginning of Pride Month. As the Pride flag was raised, the crowd cheered.

While the gathering was festive, several speakers, many members of the Rainbow Room, Planned Parenthood Keystone’s LGBTQ+ youth program, struck a serious tone.

Leo Burchell, a Central Bucks West student and member of the high school’s Gender Sexuality Alliance, said current school district policies are targeting LGBTQ+ students.

“Right here in Doylestown, home of the Central Bucks School District, administrators and principals are taking down Pride flags in classrooms and removing LGBTQ plus-themed books from library shelves,” Burchell told the crowd.

“We are listening to and standing with LGBTQ plus students as they face these escalating attacks and demand to be seen, heard, believed and protected,” he said.

Burchell was referencing two policies the Central Bucks School Board recently passed. The first is a library policy that gives community members a pathway to have certain books evaluated for removal from district libraries.

Under the policy, “This Book is Gay,” by Juno Dawson, and “Gender Queer,” by Maia Kobabe, have been removed, prompting accusations of book-banning, a narrative that Superintendent Abram Lucabaugh,  has called "a myth."

“It requires books to be free of sexually explicit content and graphic depictions of explicit sexual content,” he said of the policy in a recent letter.

The second has prompted removal of Pride flags from classrooms. The policy prohibits teachers from advocating “political, partisan or social policy issues” in their classrooms. After its passage, school board president Dana Hunter called it “a win for neutrality in the classroom. This policy will allow teachers and students to focus on learning in an environment of mutual respect.”

A young student, Gill, who asked that his last name not be used, read a poem titled “This is Me,” written by his grandfather. It read, in part:

“This is me,

wild and free.

This is me,

a light everlasting,

like a child,

born free and wild,

I got style,

I sing in my own key,

This is me,

This is me,

This is me.”

Nancy Flanagan Kelly attended the early evening program. “I find this to be a happy event, joyful,” said the Warwick resident. “It’s a community of people that accepts everyone.”

Following the flag-raising event, dozens of people walked a few blocks to the borough’s Broad Commons Park, where another Pride flag was raised.

Artist Gilbert Baker is credited with creating the first Pride flag in 1978, saying he saw flags as “the most powerful symbol of pride.” In a later interview, he said, “Our job as gay people was to come out, to be visible, to live in the truth, as I say, to get out of the lie. A flag really fit that mission, because that’s a way of proclaiming your visibility or saying, ‘This is who I am!’”

Throughout June, Doylestown will celebrate Pride Month with its fourth annual Pride Festival. Many events, including Pride Music Day on June 17, film screenings at The County Theater on June 18, a Pride Ride community bike ride on June 20 and a downtown block party on June 24 will be part of the community’s activities.

To learn more about Doylestown’s Pride Festival, visit

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