Tewksbury's Democratic Town Committee, along with Indivisible Billerica/Tewksbury/Wilmington, held "Show Your Pride, Tewksbury"

Tewksbury's Democratic Town Committee, along with Indivisible Billerica/Tewksbury/Wilmington, held "Show Your Pride, Tewksbury" on the town common on Sunday. Due to weather delays, the event had been postponed since June. A roster of state and local officials, including State Senator Barry Finegold, Representative Tram Nguyen, Representative Dave Robertson, Selectman Jayne Wellman, and Governor's Councilwoman Eileen Duff were on hand to share comments. Tewksbury performer Harlow Havoc and LGBTQIA+ equality advocate Mason Dunn shared comments and engaged the crowd. The event highlighted the need for equality and inclusion for all. "We are many communities but one town,” said Wellman. Tewksbury recently launched a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee to examine opportunities and create space for all voices in the community. (Paige Impink photo)

TEWKSBURY — On Saturday, Oct. 2, members of the Tewksbury community gathered in support of LGBTQ friends and neighbors at the first “Show Your Pride, Tewks­bury” event, hosted by the Tewksbury Democra­tic Town Com­mittee, and Indivisible Billerica, Tewksbury, Wil­mington.

The event featured spee­ches from local el­ected officials, including Tram Nguyen, David Robert­son, Barry Fine­gold, Jayne Wellman and Ei­leen Duff. Mason Dunn, a member of the newly formed Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Advisory Committee, also spoke.

Within the speeches, common themes centered around combating discrimination within so­ciety, in order to in­spire further progress and equality in society. In her speech, Select Board member Jayne Wellman emphasized the importance of embracing those in the community to create a more equitable, united town environment for all.

“Stand up to fight discrimination, so that our children, our neighbors, our friends, and our de­scendants will better ex­perience equality and equity,” said Wellman. “We are one town with many kinds of folks. We are many communities coming together. We are One Tewksbury.”

In addition to speeches, the event also featured a performance by drag per­former Harlow Havoc, also known as 2016 TMHS graduate Justin Petrie.

Tewksbury Democratic Town Com­mit­tee Chair Cathy Dwyer considered the event a success, citing that the event at­tracted an enthusiastic, diverse crowd.

“Show Your Pride Tewks­­bury was the first LGBTQ+ event of its kind ever held in this town. Our gathering may be considered small with 50 or so folks, but our participants were di­verse, enthusiastic, and sincere,” said Dwyer. “We had young children and great-grandmothers and all waved their Pride flags high. All comments re­ceived at the conclusion were positive and the most common was... ‘I hope we will do this again next year.’”

Other attendees and or­ganizers shared similar sentiments, with many no­­ting these types of ad­vocacy events serve as a source of community pride.

“As a mom of two school aged kids, I think messages of inclusion and di­versity are crucial lessons for our kids,” said Nicole Burgett-Yan­dow, a cofounder of In­divisible Billerica, Tewks­bury, Wil­mington. “Our family had a great time and we hope it’s the first of an annual Pride tradition. Events like these and those that participated make us proud to live here.”

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.