Residents gather at Kinsman Park for fifth ‘PRIDE in the Park’
The Safe Alliance, once again, put off a successful PRIDE celebration in Happy Valley-Goose Bay.
© Derek Montague/The Labradorian
Jacinda Beals (right) and her niece Ondreya Beals share a hearty laugh during the PRIDE march.
On July 20, members of the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer) community, and their supporters, gathered for the fifth annual PRIDE in the Park event.
The 2014 version landed on a nice, sunny, summer’s day. The mood was festive as roughly 30 people kicked off the event with a march down Hamilton River Road to Kinsman Park.
Even some passersby on the street joined in on the fun. People stopped their vehicles to take pictures, while others showed support by honking their horns.
For Denise Cole, a member of Safe Alliance and a key organizer of Pride in the Park, seeing the random participation was heartwarming.
“It makes all the hard work we've been doing worth it, and to know we aren't alone,” said Cole. “Perhaps people can't always attend events or walk with us, (but) the honking gives us hope that there is more support than sometimes is shown in participation numbers.”
“It was a day full of smiles and that, in a world that can sometimes be cruel to the LGBTQ community, means more than anything. We were happy and that's what this is all about, being positive and being ourselves.”
Once the marchers reached their destination, the festivities resumed at Kinsman Park. The rest of the afternoon was filled with games, entertainment and lots of food.
Seeing different members of the community celebrating together in the park made all the organizing efforts worthwhile for Cole.
“I was really pleased at how the community, volunteers, and sponsors came together to show support for the LGBTQ community in Happy Valley-Goose Bay,” said Cole.
“I believe there is still more awareness needed and events like this give us an opportunity to celebrate and discuss the efforts still needed to be made. Education is key to helping those within the LGBTQ community feel safe and supported.”