Derek Slap


Derek Slap



June 14, 2023


As part of Connecticut’s recently-passed biennial state budget, which will provide funding for the state in the 2023-24 and 2024-25 fiscal years, West Hartford lawmakers and West Hartford Pride organizers are celebrating its inclusion of $80,000 in the next two years supporting West Hartford Pride, Inc. as it continues to see increased interest in its annual Pride event in June. Held in West Hartford’s Blue Back Square, West Hartford Pride brought more than 3,000 people to celebrate diversity and the LGBTQ+ community in 2021 and 2022; the 2023 event is expected to bring as many as 5,000 visitors on Saturday, June 24.

“The leadership at West Hartford Pride is thrilled to be awarded this allocation,,” said West Hartford Pride Co-Chair and Co-Director Barry Walters. “Thank you to Senator Slap and the entire West Hartford delegation for always standing in full support of Pride. The funds provided by the state will allow us to strengthen and expand our programming, helping us to fulfill our mission of supporting, enhancing, protecting, honoring, celebrating, and uplifting the wellbeing of the LGBTQAI+ Community by providing resources, events, education, and social justice initiatives. More than a party, the leadership and volunteers at West Hartford Pride have always worked to provide an inclusive space where people of all gender expressions and sexual orientations can feel seen, affirmed and celebrated. We look forward to continuing to do so with the support of the Town of West Hartford, and this meaningful funding from the state of Connecticut.”

“West Hartford Pride represents a celebration of our community and an acknowledgement of West Hartford’s inclusive and respectful welcoming nature for all,” said State Senator Derek Slap (D-West Hartford). “I am proud on behalf of West Hartford and my fellow lawmakers that we were able to secure this important funding for West Hartford Pride, so it can further extend its efforts to make sure everyone in our communities feels seen, loved and respected for who they are.”

“I am pleased this funding was approved for West Hartford Pride to facilitate the important work of raising awareness, promoting and advancing our commitment of inclusion, understanding and acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community,” State Representative Jillian Gilchrest (D-West Hartford) said. “I look forward to the positive impact of this grant in West Hartford and across our great State of Connecticut.”

“West Hartford Pride works tirelessly to promote equity and acceptance in our community,” said State Representative Kate Farrar (D-West Hartford). “With this grant, they can advance their important mission and provide more community outreach and educational opportunities. I am proud to support West Hartford Pride in all their efforts to make our town a more inclusive place.”

“This funding proves that we are embracing and accepting every member of our community. We are dedicated to our continued efforts to uplift our LGBTQIA+ friends in West Hartford and beyond,” said State Representative James Sánchez (D – Hartford, West Hartford).

“West Hartford Pride is a great showcase of the inclusivity and acceptance in our community. This funding will ensure that West Hartford Pride will be mainstay for years to come. I am glad that we were able to secure additional funding for this important organization,” said State Representative Bobby Gibson (D-West Hartford, Bloomfield).

“West Hartford Pride perpetuates the inclusive and welcoming nature of our town through its mission to support, enhance, protect, honor, celebrate and uplift the wellbeing of the LGBTQ+ community,” said Rep. Tammy Exum (D-West Hartford, Avon), Vice Chair of the Appropriations Committee. “I am proud of the effort from the West Hartford delegation to secure funding that will further improve the quality of the resources, events, education and social justice initiatives offered by West Hartford Pride.”

In each of the next two fiscal years, West Hartford Pride will receive $40,000, supporting its mission to support, enhance and honor members of the LGBTQ+ community. The funding will be used to build and enhance current community outreach and engagement efforts in the local community, as well as support the establishment and planning of a LGBTQ+ Resource Center or “Queer Hub” as a new program to be offered by the organization, according to its application for the grant funding.