Brandon Pride parade attracts a whole bunch to Manitoba metropolis’s streets

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Hundreds of individuals took to the streets of Brandon for the southwestern Manitoba metropolis’s Pride parade on Saturday.

And for individuals like Abby Babiak, from the small neighborhood of Cherry Point, west of Brandon, strolling in a delight parade for the primary time was thrilling.

“It feels nice to finally be included in something after so many years,” mentioned Babiak. 

“I’m from a small town and we don’t really do anything in small towns.”

For mentioned Saige Davidson, one other first-time Pride attendee, the feeling boiled down to 1 factor.

“It feels comfortable,” mentioned Davidson, who’s from the village of Elkhorn, about 95 kilometres west of Brandon.

Saige Davidson, who wore a colourful outfit and had red hair on Saturday, smiles while talking about participating in a pride parade for the first time.
Saige Davidson mentioned it felt comfy to be amongst so many different individuals within the LGBTQ neighborhood on the parade on Saturday. (Walther Bernal/CBC)

“Because you kind of live hiding a lot of yourself behind closed doors and you don’t really tell many people, so it’s nice to have a community…. I haven’t really been around many people like me.”

Brandon Pride chairperson Kenneth Jackson mentioned he wasn’t certain precisely how many individuals attended Saturday’s parade, or the opposite occasions the group held all through the week, together with a trivia night time, reside music and artwork exhibitions.

“I just know that I see a lot of really great, smiling faces and I see a lot of rainbows and I’m very grateful to be part of this community,” Jackson mentioned.

Brandon Pride chairperson Kenneth Jackson wears rainbow beaded earrings and a pink-and-white shirt at the parade on Saturday.
Brandon Pride chairperson Kenneth Jackson says the occasion has grown significantly since its origin years in the past. (Walther Bernal/CBC)

He mentioned the occasion has grown significantly because the first efforts to deliver Pride to Brandon started in 2010. At the town’s first official Pride parade, about 200 individuals confirmed up. There gave the impression to be at the very least that many there on Saturday.

That means loads, “just to know that these people are with us,” Jackson mentioned.

“We’re going to keep this event [going] for many, many years to come — as long as Pride is needed.”

And after the isolation of the COVID-19 pandemic, which cancelled the standard Pride parades, it was “liberating” to be again in individual with the LGBTQ neighborhood, mentioned attendee Cole Frison.

Cole Frison wears a crown and rainbow flowers at the Brandon Pride parade on Saturday.
Cole Frison says it was thrilling to have the Brandon Pride parade occur in-person once more this 12 months after the pandemic. (Walther Bernal/CBC)

“You just look everywhere and it’s people that are like you and go through the same sort of struggles as you,” Frison mentioned.

“And it’s comforting to know that you’re not alone…. It feels really good to finally get out again.”


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