Photos by Andrea Phox photography & Link News – On Sunday, June 6, members of the LGBTQ community, many allies, local Long Branch officials, state officials and business owners raised the Pride flag at West End Park.
Congressman Frank Pallone, Senator Vin Gopal and Mayor John Pallone spoke about how proud they were to be a part of the ceremony. Michael Bienz & Sam Nativo, owners of the Mix Lounge on Brighton Ave, a restaurant and bar they started 21 years ago, spoke about how the Long Branch community was very welcoming when they first opened. “We named our business The Mix because we welcome everyone to come and enjoy themselves,” Sam said. “It’s not just for gay or straight, it’s for everyone.” He spoke about how years ago if you were gay, you only had select places to go. “Not anymore,” he said. “Like I said, that’s why we’re called The Mix.”