The weather may have been gloomy as they started their march, but the 9th Annual Brantford Pride Parade and park event was far from it!
About 300 marchers from the LGBTQ2+, their friends, family and allies were vibrant and positive, filled with love and determination to celebrate diversity in Brantford.
Back in Mohawk Park, support agencies and vendors were set up for the day.
A drag queen presentation was highlighted later in the evening.
When asked to estimate the entire community representing all the kinds of gender diversity, the event organizers were quite forthright to suggest the known organizers and public activists numbered as three to four hundred, but the entire community likely exceeded several thousand. Sadly, they had stories of hateful comments on social media but minor in comparison to far more positive public support and growing each month.
However, the anti-gay, neo-Nazi underbelly of society seems to have set up operations locally like surrounding communities. In Haldimand Norfolk, there have been these kind of organized groups from the United States actively promoting their hatred resulting in police intervention and in two cases banning two Texans from ever entering Canada again. The Brant organizers have safety protocols and direct lines of communication with authorities…sad but true.
A group of Pharmacists set up their tent “Foundation for Responsible Administration of Emergency Medicines”, but the message was far more pragmatic. These organizations offered training for anyone that felt they would be prepared to step in should an emergency drug overdose occur in their presence. The individuals were trained and certified on the spot under a government funded program and supplied with two sets of Naloxone, (two nasal misters and two hypodermic needles) to carry with them always.
Granted there is an acceptance that the nomenclature of referring to the LGBTQ2+ as ‘Queers’ because of the definition of ‘peculiar’, seems more common. In fact, however, if the peacefulness and overt expressions of love and empathy is peculiar, more of us should be willing to be labelled as peculiar.