DELANO, Calif. (KERO) — At the Delano City Council meeting on Monday, council members voted to display a pride flag outside of city hall. Tuesday morning, that flag was raised for the first time, in what some call a historical moment for the city.
"If we can make a youth - if we can make young people feel like they belong in our community, then, by all means, a flag needs to go up and it did," said Delano City Council member Salvador Solorio-Ruiz.
The idea began last month when Delano Mayor Bryan Osorio and the Delano LGBTQ+ Alliance suggested that a pride flag be displayed at Delano City Hall. The Delano LGBTQ+ Alliance even started a petition in hopes of making it happen.
A little more than a month later, that suggestion became a reality. A 3-2 vote approved the move.
Solorio-Ruiz says he voted yes on the pride flag because he feels the LGBTQ+ community has been marginalized for many years. He says as an elected official, he feels a sense of responsibility to uplift marginalized communities.
"Doing this I also believe that it will also be impactful not only for our community but for surrounding communities to make them aware that in the community of Delano regardless of their sexuality, they are seen, they are heard, they are valid, and they are loved in our community."
Orellana is the co-founder of LOUD for Tomorrow, one of the organizations that advocated for the flag. The first night they posted the petition online, there were more than 700 signatures.
"It was just overwhelming and I was just in complete shock because I thought I was alone here," said Jose Orellana.
Orellana shared that being a queer man in Kern County for him has meant a lack of acceptance because the community was never visible but now for him, that's changed. He says the flag shows a representation of the community and gives him the feeling that he's not alone.
"Waking up every morning this month is going to be heartwarming know that my city council - 3 out of the 5 - voted in favor of this."
23ABC reached out to the two city council members who did not vote for the flag to be raised but haven’t heard back from them at this time.
Delano City Council members also issued a proclamation.
Marivol Servin, a community organizer with the Delano LGBTQ+ Alliance says as an organizer it was rewarding to see Monday night happen but as someone who identifies as bisexual, it was more than that.
"There was representation for us. Or someone saying hey you are valid you are seen and we love you. And so I hope the entire community was able to feel that when the flag went up."
The Delano LGBTQ+ Alliance will be holding events all month long for pride their next event is this Saturday, June 12th from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. to celebrate the proclamation, the flag, and pride month in general. The march will start at the corner of High and Cecil. And she says they will be stopping by the pride flag at city hall.
And that's not all they are doing this month they are hosting several events, raffles, and awards for the LGBTQ+ community in Delano.