St. John’s Pride Week starts July 15 and according to Daniel Coombs, it’s going to be the best yet.
Coombs is a board member with St. John’s Pride Inc. He says every year it tries and outdo what it did the year before.
There will be some milestones this year and also some types of events that people have been asking for.
For instance, during the flag-raising cerempony at St. John’s City Hall Monday, a transgender flag will be raised for the first time, says Coombs.
Another first will be a youth-only event for people ages 12-25 years at the CLB Armoury. Coombs says there had been a request for this type of event recently.
“A lot of people are really excited about that,” he says.
Diversity and Pride Week presumably go hand-in-hand and that goes for the events, too.
“We wanted to make some more diverse events for this year,” Coombs says.
They’ve teamed up with the Newfoundland Chocolate Co., Five Brothers Artisan Cheese and Dialogue Wines to create Decadence: A Taste of Pride. The event will take place at Murray Premises and will give people a semi-formal evening of tasting local chocolate, cheese and wine.
Coombs says he’s particularly looking forward to the event.
In addition to the inaugural events, there are some of the old favourites on tap, including the annual bonfire on Middle Cove Beach.
“It’s basically like a pride tradition that we’ve carried over,” he says.
Coombs says the group St. John’s Pride was incorporated in 2011, but Pride Week goes back years.
There’ll also be the celebration of International Drag Day at CBTG’s on July 16.
Along with an event list that’s expanding every year, Coombs says the message of Pride Week is changing too.
“It was a gay pride parade because it was more of a protest. As the years went by, it evolved from a protest to a celebration of who we are. Pride is for anybody and everybody.”
Coombs encourages people of all ages, sexuality and walks of life to take part.
“I’m sure you’ve got something to be proud of,” he says.
For a full list of events, go to www.stjohnspride.org.