A state park in New York is taking big steps to show its support for the LGBTQ community during pride month. Four Freedoms State Park will unveil New York City's largest LGBTQ pride flag on June 15 during a celebratory event called "Ascend With Pride." The park will create the 12-foot-by-100-foot pride flag by placing rainbow stripes onto its iconic grand staircase overlooking New York's skyline.
Four Freedoms State Park is located on New York City's Roosevelt Island and was established to honor the four freedoms espoused by President Franklin Roosevelt during his 1941 State of the Union address, NBC News reported. These freedoms include freedom from want, freedom of expression, freedom of worship, and freedom from fear.
In announcing its plans for the LGBTQ pride flag, the park's website emphasized that it's important to call attention to the fact that not all Americans have been able to enjoy these crucial freedoms. As the park described:
As one of the nation’s only monuments dedicated to essential human freedoms, FDR Four Freedoms State Park’s Pride flag installation serves as both a symbol of solidarity with the LGTBQ community and a reminder of the collective progress still needed to achieve these four freedoms for all.
Julia Ireland, Roosevelt's great-granddaughter and a member of the Four Freedoms Park Conservatory’s board of directors, also reflected on the lasting legacy of the four freedoms during an interview with NBC News. "I’m inspired by how forward thinking the four freedoms were in 1941, and I would like to think that if my great-grandparents were alive today, they would include LGBTQ+ rights among those for which they advocated and fought,” Ireland said to NBC. " ... The pride flag will serve as a symbol of support and a reminder of the necessity of the human rights that my family worked towards.”
This year's pride celebration is a particularly momentous one for New York, as the city is commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising. The uprising occurred in June 1969 when New York's LGBTQ community began a series of protests following a police raid of one of the city's gay bars, The Stonewall Inn, History.com noted. Many consider the Stonewall Uprising the beginning of the modern gay rights movement, the outlet added.
New York City is holding over 50 pride-related events this month in honor of this historic anniversary. The city is also home to this year's World Pride, an event that promotes LGBTQ advocacy on a global scale.
Four Freedoms State Park's quickly-approaching Ascend with Pride event will feature a variety of activities. The park reports that there will be multiple Drag Queen Story Hours where audiences can gather to listen to books about diversity and inclusion. People can also share their coming out stories with VideoOut if they so choose. And, of course, the newly-unveiled LGBTQ pride flag will be there for members of the public to take in and celebrate. Ascend with Pride is scheduled to run from 12:00 p.m. through 6 p.m. on Saturday, June 15.