Flag raising ceremony kicks off Doylestown Pride Month

by June Portnoy

On June 1, a crowd of people, many dressed in rainbow attire, gathered on the lawn of the Bucks County Administration building in Doylestown Borough to welcome the return of Doylestown’s 5th Annual Pride Festival.

The festival’s goal is the celebration of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities in the Doylestown community.

According to tradition, the “elders” meet at E State Street and walk the Pride flag over to the younger generation, handing it off to them. The majority of young people in attendance were the LGBTQ+ youth of the Rainbow Room, a youth center in Doylestown and Lower Bucks County that has been serving LGBTQ+ youth in this area since 2002.

Prior to raising the new, Progressive Pride Flag, Rae Davis, a staff member at the Rainbow Room in Doylestown Borough, led a brief ceremony.

“I’m so excited to be here today to raise the Pride Flag in honor of Pride Month,” announced Davis. “Pride is a time for celebration, for reflection, and to continue to fight for our own equality and for what we know is right.”

Davis introduced a few speakers from the Rainbow Room beginning with Haley Hopkins who described how she was bullied while attending school “just because I was different.” However, when she was at the Rainbow Room, she made some amazing friends.

Hopkins said, “Before joining the Rainbow Room, I didn’t have a lot of confidence, but now because I’ve made all these friends, I feel more accepted and confident about who I am.”

Drew Levy, the day’s second speaker, described how going to the Rainbow Room two years ago was the best decision he ever made in his life.

“Joining the Rainbow Room completely changed how I thought about myself, how I thought about the world, and just our community. To me Pride means peace, being at peace with yourself, the world, and the community around you, I’m so happy that I’m surrounded by such great people where I can just wake up and feel content. Now I feel I’m embraced and considered to be one of everyone else. I am so very thankful for the Rainbow Room for bringing us all together.”

CJ Weintraub, the day’s third speaker, described how the Rainbow Room “helped me find myself and find people who were like me. I’m really grateful for the community we have.”

Everybody cheered as the Rainbow Room youth, along with other LGBTQ+ youth in attendance, raised the Pride Flag on the County flagpole. Following this flag raising, the Desis of Doylestown joined with the LGBTQ+ community this year for a Holi celebration of color and Pride.

Amritha Srinath, Director of Operations for Desis of Doylestown, explained, “Holi epitomizes the celebration of diversity welcoming people of all genders, ages and racial backgrounds. At its core, Holi underscores the significance of embracing diversity and reveling in our differences, much like the vivid hues adorning both the Holi colors and Pride flag colors…By commemorating both Holi and Pride month concurrently, we signify inclusivity and love.”

Next, a group of volunteers carried a second Progressive Pride flag to Doylestown Borough Hall.

Standing next to the flagpole, Michael Kendrick, co-chair of Doylestown Pride, described how this event has evolved from a little block party five years ago to a multi-day celebration attracting thousands of people during various attractions, this year between June 15th to June 23rd.

These events featured a series of film screenings at The County Theater, a Drag Brunch, the Pride Block Party, Music Day, and various pop-up events and celebrations throughout the community. 

Following Kendrick’s speech, Doylestown Borough Mayor Noni West read a proclamation, proclaiming June 2024 Pride Month in Doylestown Borough.

The day concluded with the raising of the second Progressive Pride flag at Doylestown Borough Hall’s flagpole. For more information about the Doylestown Pride Festival, visit


PRIDE1: Rainbow Room Doylestown members (from top left): Alaina Klee and Haley Hopkins with (from bottom left) Able Zerrenner and Rae Davis greet attendees as they gather at the lawn of the Bucks County Administration.

PRIDE2: Rainbow Room members prepare the Progressive Pride Flag to be raised on the County flagpole.

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