I love the Vancouver Pride Parade. It combines the costuming of Halloween, the open love of Valentine’s Day, the sun of Canada Day, the sense of a struggle for our rights of Labour Day, and for many, the inebriation of St. Patrick’s Day.
This year was actually the first time I’d watched the Pride parade, instead of walking in it with a group, and it was huge fun to see all the entrants showing their pride and reminding us of those who have fought for equal rights for gay, lesbian, trans, and queer individuals and communities. Pride also reminds us that there are struggles yet to face in this area, and we will have to stand together to defeat heterosexism and prejudice.
Growing up in a small town where, less than 10 years ago, the visiting Vancouver Gay and Lesbian Choir was pepper-sprayed by an audience member, where students at my 1500 person highschool could not find a teacher to sponsor a Gay-Straight Alliance, and where bullies “joked” about forming a “Gay-K-K”, the celebration of Pride has a special importance for me. Of course there’s still heterosexist prejudice in Vancouver and across Canada, but the fact that so many organizations and individuals, gay and straight, get together to celebrate Pride, gives us hope that we can end the hate.
So for those of you who missed out on Pride Vancouver this year, here are some pictures I took. I got kind of tired of picture-taking and low on camera batteries for the end of the parade, but I hope this set of pictures shows how great it was, and convinces you to support the Pride Society and make it to the parade next year!
My friends and I arrived early and had a great location right beside the awesome Joan-E, the MC at the Boathouse: