No raining on this parade

Andrew Robinson
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Annual St. John's Pride event draws several hundred

It may have come a day late, but the delayed start did not appear to damper the enthusiasm of the large crowd that gathered for Sunday afternoon’s St. John’s Pride Parade.

Among the most popular annual attractions for St. John’s Pride Week, about 300 people walked along downtown streets to show their support for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community. The parade was scheduled to take place Saturday afternoon but was postponed due to rain.

Many in the parade carried signs with messages written on them — “Accessible Trans Healthcare Now,” “Love is Never Wrong,” “I Love My Trans Sibling,” and “Some Men Have Vaginas Get Over It” were just a few examples. There were also plenty of rainbow flags waved vigorously.

Tristan, a man in his early 20s, said he wanted to march in Sunday’s parade to show his support for the rights of transgender people. He also appreciates the opportunity to be part of a community that he considers more welcoming than the one in which he grew up.

“Stephenville is not that great of a place for queer folk, and neither is a whole lot of other smaller towns in around Newfoundland,” said Tristan, who has lived in St. John’s for three years.

“From what I’ve heard from my friends who still live there, it’s getting marginally better, but it’s still not all the way there.”

Tristan said the LGBTQ community in St. John’s is thriving and growing, with support from both young people and those who may have experienced homophobia at a more intense level in decades past.

Sunday marked the last day of the weeklong celebration in St. John’s. A family day in Bannerman Park was scheduled for the afternoon along with Queer Olympics at the Quidi Vidi Rugby Field, capped off by an evening event at The Grapevine on Water Street.

Tristan, who was not able to attend as many events this year due to work commitments, said this year’s pride week was a lot of fun. But he also emphasized the importance of pride week as part of a movement.

“I think the pride movement has come far, and it still has a ways to go. We need to remember where we’ve come and where we’ve been, but we also need to look forward to a bright and happy future, because we will get there if we keep on powering away.”

Twitter: @TeleAndrew

Organizations: The Grapevine on Water Street.Tristan

Geographic location: St. John's, Newfoundland, Bannerman Park

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Recent comments

  • fogNL
    July 23, 2013 - 12:36

    I'm proud of this city and how it has embraced the LGBT community.

  • outmother
    July 22, 2013 - 14:08

    This was my first year attending this event and many more to come for me. I was honored to be walking aside some of the most genuine and respectful people i know. It sadens me to see some of your comments here and yes that is why we need a parade if not to open your little minds up to reality and the meaning of standing up for something you beleive in and support but imagine all the people out there old and young who think that they are alone and are sad and confused with themselves....imagine if that was one of your children or a family member...i would surely want them to be able to be openly happy and supported for that rather then sad and alone because someone like you thinks its all a joke and ridiculous....If events like this help just one person know that they are not alone and they are wonderful just as they are then i say we should have them more then just one week out of the year. Love is patient, Love is kind and Love knows no gender :)

  • Roy
    July 22, 2013 - 12:30

    And I guess that's why we still need gay pride parades in the world! The ultimate goal is to not need them. To move past where this is no longer an issue. When people aren't divided into the gay and straight etc. Catagories and just the human race category. People around the world are discriminated against and worst. Just last year Uganda was trying to pass a "kill the gays bill." The person in charge of that bill wanted it to be a present for her country before Christmas. So pride parades are still necessary, if not to further the rights in your own community, but to show the rest of the world that it is ok to be who you are. And maybe in Time people around the world will not need these parades. But until then, spread the love and the message. Walk proud and tall.

  • Respectful Townie
    July 22, 2013 - 12:04

    @Original Townie - You're the reason 'they' need to parade. Maybe attend next time - you'll make some new friends and learn a little. I did.

  • Mark
    July 22, 2013 - 10:11

    To Original Townie - I remember in the early-mid 1990s when gay-bashing was still common in St. John's. A group of brave heroes would follow a gay man from a club and jump him. Not only did this occur, but other people never saw a big problem with it! The public attitude was that gay people shouldn't be gay, then that wouldn't happen to them. So, to answer your question, heterosexuals do not need a pride parade to endorse acceptance and common repsect because they were never straight-bashed.

  • PaulNorthRiver
    July 22, 2013 - 08:31

    To Original Townie...I have not heard of much discrimination in our society towards heterosexuals nor of any bullying problems in schools where kids target other kids they believe to be straight. That's, in a nutshell, is why heterosexuals don't have a parade.

    • Nancy
      July 22, 2013 - 08:44

      Here here! Original Townie & Wild Rose - when was the last time you got up from your computer and stood for something that counts?

  • Wild Rose
    July 22, 2013 - 07:20

    An other buch of hippies and missfits dragging society down.

    • seanoairborne
      July 22, 2013 - 12:27

      They certainly are funny little people aren't they!

    • Jack
      July 22, 2013 - 16:24

      I can't name one hippie dragging down society but I can certainly name a few bible believing, heterosexual business men who certainly have done some damage.

  • original townie
    July 22, 2013 - 05:14

    Different strokes for different folks, but a full week of celebration topped off by a parade downtown, accompanied by a police escort? Really. We don't need a heterosexual week and parade. Why do they? Gay flags flying over city hall. This is becoming sooooo ridiculous!