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Home Government City of Rye Letters of Pride: Kristen Avery, Rye High School Class of 2004

Letters of Pride: Kristen Avery, Rye High School Class of 2004

MyRye.com is publishing a series of letters of support for raising the Pride flag on City flagpoles. The letters were sent to the City ahead of the City Council voting to fly the flag, and are a matter of public record.

PRIDE flag

From: Kristen Avery

Subject: In support of raising the Pride flag

Date: April 28, 2021 at 9:02:50 PM EDT

To: <jcohn@ryeny.gov><sgoddard@ryeny.gov>, <cjohnson@ryeny.gov>,<rmecca@ryeny.gov>, <bstacks@ryeny.gov>, <jsouza@ryeny.gov>,<ptarlow@ryeny.gov>

To the Mayor and the City Council,

I’m writing in support of Rye raising the Pride flag for Pride month in June. I grew up and spent 25 years of my life in Rye, with my parents and my sister still currently living there. I heard about last week’s City Council meeting where there was discussion around spending $10,000 in legal counsel to figure out whether raising the flag is possible, which seems superfluous. I’m also dismayed to hear that there were instances of eye rolling and talking over comments presented by members of Rye High School’s GSA.

It takes an incredible amount of courage not only to be out as an LGBTQ+ student in high school, but also to speak up in a legislative forum. So these students deserve the utmost amount of respect and gratitude for using their voices. Growing up queer, I spent my childhood and teenage years hiding that fact from everyone. Fear and shame took hold, and I didn’t come out until I was 18. Thankfully, my family and friends were incredibly supportive. But Rye did not feel like an accepting or inclusive environment. I never thought the city would have a Pride event and was so happy to attend last year’s celebration on the Village Green. At the same time, there is still more progress to be made. This issue of the flag raising is all the more relevant especially since last year’s hateful incidents of personal lawn Pride flags being either burned, vandalized, or stolen. LGBTQ+ issues and rights deserve to be respected, especially grassroots efforts by RHS students. Raising the Pride flag is one small step to do just that.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Kristen Avery
Rye High School Class of 2004


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