Pride Month kicks off with rainbow flags over town square

It’s the second time the town has had an official Pride Month, but the first time it's put money towards it.
JH Pride members say it's important to fly flags in downtown Jackson to make LGBTQ+ community members feel welcome. (Hanna Merzbach/KHOL)

It’s Pride Month — a celebration of the LGBTQ+ community. For the first time in Jackson’s history, official rainbow flags are flying over the town square. 

On Monday, members from the local group Jackson Hole Pride, a group that says it is 100% queer run, filled the seats of the town chambers as Mayor Hailey Morton Levinson read a Pride proclamation. 

It’s the second time the town has had an official Pride month — but the first time it’s put money towards it. Local council members unanimously approved paying for the Pride banners.

Local advocate Grant Gallaher told the council the rainbow banners help tell the LGBTQ+ community its welcome here.

JH Pride Steering Committee Members Grant Gallaher, Cheyenne Syvertson and Karyn Chin went to the state capitol earlier this year to fight for LGBTQ+ rights. (Courtesy of Karyn Chin)

“Some people are going to see [the banners] and feel it at a really deep level. Other people, it’s just going to be in the back of their vacation pictures,” Gallaher said. “All of those things really matter in terms of the visibility of Pride in our community and the ability for people to feel safe and supported and celebrated and joyous here in Jackson.” 

The move comes amid efforts nationwide to create laws that dial back LGBTQ+ rights. Wyoming recently joined twenty states in banning trans girls from playing on female sports teams.

Pride in Jackson has been bubbling up in recent years. JH Pride has launched what may be the most ambitious pride schedule in the town’s history. The group is hosting a gender diversity picnic, hikes, climbs, disc golf, a queer prom drag show and — of course — a dance party. 

KHOL News Director Tyler Pratt recently sat down with JH Pride’s Gallaher and Karyn Chin, who is also a local LGBTQ+ and womens’ rights advocate and KHOL advisory board member, to discuss Pride plans and what the month means to the community. 

Hit play on the Soundcloud link below.

The following interview transcript has been edited for clarity and brevity. This conversation was recorded on May 31.

Want More Stories Like This?

Donate any amount to support independent media in the Tetons.

KHOL 89.1 Jackson Hole Community Radio Membership Support Ad

About Hanna Merzbach

Hanna is KHOL's senior reporter and managing editor. A lot of her work focuses on housing and local politics, but also women's health — and whatever else she finds interesting. You can hear her reporting around the country and region on NPR, Wyoming Public Radio and community radio stations around the west. She hails from Bend, Oregon, where she reported for outlets such as the Atlantic, High Country News and Oregon Public Broadcasting. In her free time, you can find Hanna scaling rock walls or adventuring in the mountains.

Related Stories

Pin It on Pinterest