WATCH ABOVE: Tracy Nagai reports on the firsts for Calgary in this year’s Pride week but also, how many people are saying that our city still has a long way to go in terms of equality and inclusiveness.
CALGARY – ‘Pride’ is in full force this weekend, with the big parade taking over the downtown core Sunday and in Calgary, a few firsts are being marked this year.
However, it’s not all a celebration, with many saying our city still has a long way to go in terms of equality and inclusiveness.
Many supporters gathered and chanted at the ‘Calgary Dyke and Trans March’ Saturday afternoon, for the right to walk the streets in safety, just one of the many battles they face every day.
“There’s lots of stories of oppression at schools, for youth and our children, for the families as well, we hear stories from people in the work place, people in the medical community,” said Jill Thompson from the Calgary Dyke and Trans March.
The feel of this march was very different than the pride parade and intentionally.
“We’ve come a really long way to have a pride week but there’s still lots to do, there’s still people who are oppressed in the community,” said Thompson.
This sentiment was echoed at the premier’s pride brunch.
The event supports Camp Fyrefly, a four day retreat that helps children build leadership skills and many agree – there’s still more work ahead.
“Youth are using derogatory language, there’s still bullying and discrimination that’s happening but we’re here at pride to celebrate how far we’ve come and also talk about what still needs to be done,” said Dr. Kristopher Wells, co-founder of Camp Fyrefly.
But there are signs of change among the crowd.
The Wildrose Party was represented there, a first in Calgary.
“I have family and friends that belong to this community and I’m very proud of those people and love them very much and I’m here to show my support for them and all Albertans as I do in all things right across the province,” said Wildrose Party leader Brian Jean.
Down the street of the parade was a victory for all to see, with the raising of a trans pride flag in front of City Hall.
“It’s a first for Calgary, it’s a first for Alberta and a long time coming,” said Aria Ehren, from the Trans Equality Society of Alberta.
For those in the street, there’s hope of more victories to come following next month’s federal election.
“It’s been really exciting with the whole election that just happened in our province and we have a huge federal election that’s coming up. We know that as a community we’re going to have an AGM in the fall after the election and talk about what we want to do next, who we want to talk to, who’s in political power and what changes we can make,”said Thompson.
The ‘Pride Parade’ kicks off Sunday at noon.