Pride Month is about “authenticity without being sorry or hiding who you are,” says the vice-chairperson of the Red Deer Queer Community Association.
On Saturday, Central Albertans displayed pride on their vehicles for all to see, as the association hosted its 2022 Pride Car Parade, which began at the Goodlife Fitness parking lot.
“It’s always great and really important for us to have visibility within and outside of the pride community,” said Alex Pugatschew, RDQCA vice-chairperson.
“Pride events are incredibly important, especially with the political climate right now, … to show that we as a community are not silent and we’re not going away.”
The association is hosting a number of events throughout the month of June, in collaboration with the Downtown Red Deer Business Association, Red Deer Public Library, and Red Deer Museum and Art Gallery.
Pugatschew said there is plenty more to be excited for this month, including panels that discuss the importance of pride and queer history.
“We get to touch on the importance of milestones and events that have happened in the past, and the reason we do stuff like parades and why we get together every June,” said Pugatschew.
There were about 20-25 vehicles participating in Saturday’s parade, which took participants down Taylor Drive and through downtown Red Deer. Following the parade, there was an after-party at Rotary Picnic Park – the event was originally going to take place at Gary W. Harris Celebration Plaza, but the location was changed.
Having events like the Pride Car Parade shows Red Deerians and people in smaller towns in Central Alberta that they don’t have to hide who they are.
“Even here in Red Deer and Alberta there are so many people who – to use the stereotypical term – are still closeted,” said Pugatschew.
“Events like this … allow them to have a little spark of hope and shows that they are not alone. There are people like them and there are people who have gone through similar if not the same struggle they have. They’ve gone through the same questions, they’ve gone through the same anxieties about their own person.”
For a full list of Pride Month events, visit www.rdqca.org.