MILLBURN, NJ - As part of the celebration of pride month in town, a rainbow flag was hoisted up one of the two flagpoles out in from of Millburn's Town Hall.
The short ceremony was attended by members of the township committee, the board of education and other community figures. A crowd of roughly two to three dozen people were on hand to watch the flag raising. This ceremony marks the first time in town history that a pride flag has been flown in front of the municipal building.
After the ceremony, Mayor Diane Eglow spoke with TAPinto Millburn/Short Hills. She said that the committee was thrilled to do this, as she said it was a clear show of support for the LGBTQ community in town.
I'm so glad that we can do this because you don't have to actually be in the LGBT community...we have pride for everybody," Eglow said. "Everybody should feel included in Millburn Township."
Eglow also noted that having the flag fly in front of cars coming down Millburn Avenue is a key part of that acceptance and welcoming.
"I think it shows that Millburn is becoming a more progressive town and we want everyone to feel they're important and they're part of our community."
One of the attendees at the ceremony was Jacob Updyke. Updyke is a rising junior at Millburn High School and a member of the school's Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA). For Updyke, whose mother Caroline is also on the BOE, seeing the flag flying in town is a major milestone for him, as well as for other LGBTQ residents in Millburn.
"It means that a lot of positive change has happened over the past few years," Updyke said. "And it's just really nice to see that my hometown is really embracing the gays and supporting us after years of being gay and LGBTQ being a taboo subject."
"It's just really welcoming to know that we're finally an accepted community in this town," Updyke added.
Updyke also remarked that seeing the flag flying in the public space means that the town is showing how LGBTQ-friendly they are. As Updyke said. the flag, to him, means that "no matter what race, sexuality or gender you are, you're welcome here."
The pride flag will continue to fly in front of the town hall through the month of June.