Students from the Holicong Middle School Gay-Straight Alliance, Tohickon Diversity Club, Lenape SAGA Club, Unami Prism Club, and CB-East Gay-Straight Alliance on Friday came to see the “Inside + OUT in New Hope” exhibit on display this month along the waterfront promenade between Bucks County Playhouse and Stella restaurant.
The installation by New Hope Celebrates emphasizes the participation and inclusiveness of New Hope’s LGBTQ+ community, and commemorates National LGBTQ+ Histrory Month.
Some students were able to find themselves in the display of photos from past Pride Parades sponsored by New Hope Celebrates.
“I think it’s important to create opportunities for LGBTQ+ students and their allies to come together,” said Keith Willard, GSA Advisor at Holicong Middle School and organizer of the trip. “The New Hope Celebrates History exhibit provided the perfect opportunity to gather as a school community and to learn about LGBTQ+ history – a history that students could see themselves in from door panels that included alumni from previous New Hope Pride Parades.”
“It was so inspiring to watch our young people engage with local LGBTQ history,” commented Nancy Flanagan, GSA Advisor at Central Bucks East High School. “Some wore rainbow flags, socks, tee-shirts, and hats, which honors those who came before them. They are showing pride in themselves and their identity, thanks to those who paved the way.”
As the students opened the doors, they shared a part of New Hope’s LGBTQ+ history and realized that their stories will someday be passed on to the next generations to come, said organizers.
“I very much enjoyed seeing the exhibit in New Hope,” said Halley Hopkins, a student at Central Bucks East High School. “It made me proud to be part of the Gay Straight Alliance. I feel so fortunate to live in a country that is pushing towards equality and acceptance with matters like these.”
“I very much enjoyed the trip this past Friday,” Iona McMenemy from Unami Middle School said. “For as long as I can remember, New Hope has been very inclusive of the LGBTQ+ community. The doors were beautifully made and I learned a lot about past events regarding the community of New Hope.”
“Because I grew up in New Hope, I knew a lot of the people in the photos,” added Riley Ramirez from Tohickon Middle School. “It was really amazing to learn how they are a part of New Hope’s history, and I even got to see some pictures of my Uncle Joey that I’ve never seen before.”
With the doors’ colors awash in the autumn sun, Brooke Dougherty of Holicong Middle School said, ”New Hope’s LGBTQ+’s exhibit allowed us students to celebrate our differences and embrace in one another’s uniqueness. This display shows people that when we love one another for who we are, our colors shine brighter.”
The doors in magenta, red, orange, yellow, green, turquoise, blue and purple will continue to shine along the promenade until Oct. 31.