Bringing Pride Back To Happy Valley Goose Bay

Community members in Happy Valley-Goose Bay are volunteering their time to bring some Pride back to the town.

After learning the annual Pride Week celebrations wouldn't be going ahead this summer, the group organized a meeting Thursday night at the College of the North Atlantic campus in to plan an alternate event.

"We started off with planning a march, and we're going to do the march, and then hopefully have almost something similar to the previous Prides in the park that we've had," Nikolas Mesher said.

Mesher has helped organize Pride activities in the past. He said he's looking forward to being a part of this year's celebrations, even if they might differ from past events.

"There will be something going on. We're still in the process of figuring it all out, but I'm looking forward to having some sort of event."

Nikolas Mesher

Nikolas Mesher says the local LGBT community is growing in Happy Valley-Goose Bay. (Submitted)

The Labrador-based community organization Safe Alliance hosted Happy Valley-Goose Bay's first-ever Pride celebrations in 2010 and has continued the annual tradition through subsequent years.

However, Safe Alliance members were unable to organize the event this year due to other commitments, which disappointed many members of the local LGBT community and their supporters.

Mesher has given presentations to local schools about gender identity and transgender rights. He said the demand for these sort of events is continuing to grow, along with the local community.

'The community as a whole is growing within the town.' - Nikolas Mesher

"It just seems like the community as a whole is growing within the town," he said.

"[Young residents] were just really upset there was nothing going on. So, I think even though it might not be nothing big, I think it's better than nothing that's for sure." 

First-time Pride

Paulette Rice also participated in Thursday's meeting. She recently moved to Happy Valley-Goose Bay from the coastal community of Makkovik to attend college and is excited to take part in her first-ever Pride event.

Paulette Rice

Paulette Rice says she's excited to take part in her first Pride event, which she says helps bring together the local community. (Submitted)

"It's pretty cool to join into something you didn't have before," she said.

'It's pretty cool to join into something you didn't have before.' - Paulette Rice

"This is actually my very first Pride and I'm really excited, kind of nervous. Just really happy to be here and be a part of this and help make a change in the community."

Although organizers are still fine-tuning the details, they've tentatively planned a march along Hamilton River Road, from the Royal Canadian Legion building to Kinsmen Park.

The group is hoping to make an announcement about the exact time and date of this year's Pride march in the coming days.

Source : http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/pride-labrador-lgbtq-1.4281113

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