“Out and About” for Pride Week

Tyler
Tyler Clarke
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A scene from last year’s Prince Albert Pride Parade is seen in downtown Prince Albert. This year’s parade will shift south to the Kinsmen Park area. 

Being lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender queer or questioning can be difficult at times, which makes next week’s Pride Week festivities an important reminder.

 

“You experience homophobia or trans-phobia and not very welcoming environments, and to have the week to be able to be one’s self and to be around other people who are supportive and understand -- it means a lot,” Prince Albert Q-Network president Jennifer Brockman said.

“It also means a lot to the people who aren’t quite ready, yet. They know it’s there -- the support is there, and that the awareness is there and it helps them to feel not so alone.

Beginning with “Affirming Diversity Services” at Wesley United Church and Calvary United Church on Sunday, a scattering of activities will take place throughout the week, which will cap off on Saturday with a pride parade around the Kinsmen Park area.

“One thing I really like about the Prince Albert Pride Week and the parade itself in general is, it’s a real family affair,” Brockman said.

“It warms my heart when I see families there with their children, and my dad attends with me every year and it’s just -- It’s open for everybody.”

Previous years’ parades took place in downtown Prince Albert, with this year’s shift to the Kinsmen Park area means of trying something new, Brockman summarized.

This year’s theme is “Out and About” -- a theme that recognizes that there are a lot of LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning)-conscious efforts that take place outside of Pride Week.

“There’s a lot of really good work that people are doing in the community – in Prince Albert and area, and it’s not always recognized,” Brockman said.

“What we wanted to get people to do was think about what are some of the positive changes that they’re doing to help make Prince Albert a more warm and welcoming and safe place for the LGBTQ community.”

Day of Pink and other school-centred anti-bullying efforts are of particular importance for the LGBTQ community, she noted, adding that local Unitarians have also been helping matters with efforts such as a “Queer without Contradiction” event.

The Bible study event was intended to look at the Bible “in a positive way more about God’s love,” Brockman summarized.

 

Sunday: Affirming Diversity Services

The Wesley United Church will hold their service from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. and the Calvary United Church will hold their service from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Last year’s service at the Calvary United Church by Nora Vedress received a glowing review form Brockman.

“Just the love that we felt and the way that Nora brought honour to the community and the words that she shared -- I cried through the whole service,” Brockman said.

“It was just so amazing, and it brought healing to me, too, to help let go of some of my own judgments that I have within the church, so it was just a real healing moment.”

 

Sunday: Pride flag raising and community barbecue

The flag raising and community barbeque will take place at memorial square outside of city hall from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

You experience homophobia or trans-phobia and not very welcoming environments, and to have the week to be able to be one’s self and to be around other people who are supportive and understand -- it means a lot. Jennifer Brockman

After the flag raising, people are encouraged to remain in order to take in hotdogs and drinks for $2. Children’s games and family-friendly activities will also be available.

 

Tuesday: Film night

The John M. Cuelenaere Public Library will play host to a Tuesday night Pride Week film, with the screening of “Bully” set to take place at 7 p.m.

The documentary follows the implications of peer-to-peer bullying in schools across America.

 

Wednesday: Drag 101

A “Drag 101” course will be offered at the Prince Albert Multicultural Council at 7 p.m.

The basics about dressing in drag will be provided by Cammi Leon and Ivan Tuplzu.

 

Thursday: Mini-film festival

A miniature film festival will begin at 7 p.m. at the Mann Art Gallery.

Called “Pitos Waskochepayis III,” the festival is centred on queer/two spirit culture.

 

Friday: Poetry night

A “Rainbow Expresso” poetry night will take place at Victoria Square Coffee at 7 p.m.

In addition to a handful of poets they will have lined up to share their insights, Brockman said that there will be an open microphone component to the evening’s reading.

 

Saturday: Pride parade and community rally

Brockman’s favourite part of the week due to its strong sense of “unity and togetherness,” the pride parade and community rally will begin at the YWCA on Central Avenue by the Prince Albert Court of Queen’s Bench at 1 p.m.

The parade will move south past Kinsmen Park, continue west across the Kinsmen Arena parking lot and then north up First Avenue West up to the grandstand where the balance of festivities will take place.

Guest speakers, entertainment, vendors and community displays will be up at Kinsmen Park throughout the afternoon.

 

Saturday: Pride After-Party

An after party will take place at 9 p.m. at the Ramada Inn, upstairs in the lounge.

 

Summarizing this year’s pride festivities as “a fun week and a week that people can just come out and enjoy themselves and be themselves,” Brockman encourages anyone from the public to participate.

“It’s important to honour ourselves -- our identities and our unique spirits, and it’s also a time to celebrate as a community and come together and experience some positivity.”

Everything is free of charge, although donations will be accepted throughout Pride Week, with all money going toward Camp Fyrefly -- a summer camp that’s held for LGBTQ youth. This year’s camp will take place from Aug. 1-4 at Lumsden Beach Camp just outside of Regina.

Organizations: Prince Albert, Calvary United Church, Wesley United Church Diversity Services The Bible John M. Cuelenaere Public Library Prince Albert Multicultural Council Mann Art Gallery YWCA Ramada Inn

Geographic location: Kinsmen Park, America, Central Avenue Regina

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  • B. Annock
    June 01, 2014 - 11:11

    I watched a Gay Gathering on television and they were chanting..."We're here...we're queer..get used to it!" You may be here...you may be queer...i don't have to get used to it. Its not a lifestyle i agree with. I love hockey. I hate badminton. I dont hate the players...i hate the game. So when badminton players keep flaunting their birdies and raquets...its annoying...i dont like it and im entitled to that. You may be here and you can be queer...but dont try to make me a badminton player. Peace!