Claire Drapeau, a seventh-grade student from Crofton Middle School, was joined by Mayor Gavin Buckley to lead a Pride Walk from City Hall to Baroak Restaurant at the Loews Hotel Tuesday afternoon.
In steamy, rainy conditions Tuesday afternoon, a cluster of rainbows made its way through Annapolis.
The city’s first official pride celebration— a walk from City Hall to the Loews Annapolis Hotel— started with a seventh-grader.
Twelve-year-old Claire Drapeau has been out as bisexual since she was in fifth-grade at Crofton Middle School. This year after telling friends, family and classmates she also identifies as gender-fluid, Drapeau wanted to join in on a pride celebration.
Instead of taking a trip to D.C. Pride as she planned, Drapeau told her mom she just wanted to walk around downtown Annapolis waving her rainbow flag and handing out stickers, which she saved up to buy herself.
“I wanted to show no matter who you are, love is love. You can love someone no matter your sexuality or gender,” she said.
When Drapeau’s mother posted on Facebook asking if anyone would join them, Mayor Gavin Buckley saw it and decided to join in.
Two weeks ago, Buckley declared June Annapolis’ first pride month in solidarity with national celebrations. He hadn’t planned an event until a parade set for 2019.
“We can’t let our ruling principles be fear and greed. We need them to be love and pride,” he said after the walk.
“Ever since I came to this town, I wondered why there wasn’t a gay bar or an African-American bar. It always seemed like we were doing the same thing.”
Proud minds think alike, and Buckley and Drapeau weren’t alone Tuesday.