York’s digital pride kicks off with poignant tribute to 215 lost children in Kamloops
Accept others. Be yourself. Family. Community. Activism. Passion. Expression. A safe place. Stronger together. These are the different ways the 2SLGBTQ + community in York Region expresses what pride means to them, and that’s the message she delivered on Wednesday night at the start of the York Pride Fest digital pride celebrations.
York Pride kicked off its online celebrations on June 2 with this celebration of the phrase, but the joy of pride was tempered by the harsh realities of injustice.
“The discovery of Indigenous children found in Kamloops has profoundly shaken Canada,” said host Tera Gillen-Petrozzi of Big Brother Canada, presenting an acknowledgment of land from Ojibway Anishinaabe grandmother Kim Wheatley of the Shawnaga First Nation . “We have to recognize it. It is a conversation that cannot be ignored. The best way for York Pride to kick off this event is to show its love and support for our Indigenous peoples. ”
Lived experiences were key to this week’s Pride commemorations with a conversation for 2SLGBTQ youth that was meant to be a forum for sounding out about the issues that matter.
“The youth of the Greater Toronto Area and York Region will share their real fears, constructive criticism and feelings about the ever-changing landscape of our communities,” organizers said. “With a federal election fast approaching, we want you to speak up and be heard. Now is the time to be shamelessly honest, to drive change, and to make strides in raising awareness of current issues in our community. Some topics that will be discussed will include: homophobia, transphobia, racism, mental health, education, work and many other important things that affect the way we grow, work and play in our communities. This program will achieve this through various techniques such as music, poetry, dance, speaking, debate and art.
Throughout next week, Virtual Pride will be offering quiz nights on June 16 and 28 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. and, on June 18 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., a comedy night for 19+.
“Test your knowledge of 2SLGBTQ + history, entertainment and the great facts,” say the organizers. Hosted by local drag queens, this night is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat with three rounds of quick live trivia shots. With three grand prizes to give away, you won’t want to be late for this party! Simply set up the live stream on your computer and go to kahoot.it on your phone to participate in the quiz experience.
“The spectator’s discretion is advised (for the comedy evening)! In June, we’re featuring three local comedians to encourage them to represent their personal stories through a new level of daring, humor and attitude on the Digital Pride stage. Not only will this be an opportunity to bond with each other, but also to create the perfect environment for reading each other in a fun and playful way. The evening will also feature special performances from a locally renowned Canadian 2SLGBTQ + icon, full of humor and with insane performance skills. Since we’re all in quarantine, I guess we’ll just be making jokes inside for now. So grab your drinks, laugh a little and join us for a comedic night like no other.