Pride in Yellowknife is ramping up its festivities this month.
Last weekend it had a youth summer social where all 2SLGBTQ, questioning and allied youth aged 12 to 30 were invited for a night of food, music and dancing at the Fred Henne Territorial Park day use area.
But if you missed that, not to worry — there are plenty more activities in store as part of the 2021 Yellowknife Pride Festival.
That includes a family day event on July 10 at Rotary Park from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. On July 17, there will be a Rainbow Coalition performance at Folk On The Rocks at the Cabin Radio Stage going from 2:15 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Then there will be cupcakes at the Post Office on July 28 at noon and the next day, July 29, there’s a trivia night at Yellowknife Elks Lodge #314 from 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Finally, the Rainbow Run will be held Aug. 7 at 10 a.m.
“The message that were trying to get across is that community is everything,” said Chelsea Thacker, executive director of the Rainbow Coalition of Yellowknife.
“In 2020, we did a small online, festival … this year, we just want to show our appreciation for our community. So we decided to do smaller events spread out throughout the summer, so that it’s more accessible.”
Thacker says festivities began after July 1 as a show of respect as many people, including Indigenous community members called to cancel Canada Day in light of the recent discoveries of unmarked graves at former residential schools across the country.
“It is important to highlight the fact that BIPOC [Black, Indigenous, and people of colour] community members, even within our own community face the highest levels of adversity and it’s important to show up for them,” they said.
“Pride is, and always will be, political until all of us can exist equitably in our society.”
People can also go check out the newly painted crosswalk in downtown Yellowknife.
Yellowknife Pride posted to Facebook that they asked the city for a more progressive approach to the crosswalk this year with an updated rainbow flag. It includes black and brown stripes, which are meant to signify the community’s BIPOC members.
“These community members do face the most discrimination, violence and harassment, but they also were at the front lines of starting the movement to secure rights for ALL 2SLGBTQIPA+ people,” the post reads in part.
The post also says the transgender flag was added since “not all transgender and non-binary feel safe and equitably represented under the rainbow flag.”
“As well,” the post continues, “transgender and non-binary people continue to fight to be treated equitably in our society and it’s important to have visual representation of identities that have been around forever.”
People can visit the Yellowknife Pride Facebook page for information on the upcoming events.
Related stories from around the North:
Finland: First Finnish ‘Ski Pride’ in April, Yle News
Sweden: Arctic hockey team to wear rainbow jerseys all season in support of LGBT rights in sport, Radio Sweden