Members of the 2SLGBTQ+ community and supporters took to the streets of Red Deer on Friday for a Car Pride Parade to spread the message of love and respect.
Pride flags and balloons decorated eight vehicles that looped through the downtown before heading to Bower Place shopping centre and returning to the downtown.
Alex Pugatschew, co-chair of the Red Deer Queer Community Association, wanted to remind people to be careful who they hate because it could be someone they love.
On Thursday, Alberta RCMP warned of a recent spike in hate incidents targeting 2SLGBTQ+ people and encouraged all Albertans to report any hate-related incidents to police.
Pugatschew said the association hasn’t received any threats, but recalled recent damage to the Pride sidewalk murals in front of Junktiques Home Decor and Pride Shop earlier this month.
“I know that there’s a lot of people who have been dealing with issues in terms of threats. Later on today we’re going down to Innisfail Pride to support them and help deter the threats they’ve received,” Pugatschew said before the parade.
“At the end of the day, we’re celebrating Pride to show the people that are receiving these threats that we’re there for them, and to show the people who are making these threats that we’re not going to run and hide.”
She said the 2SLGBTQ+ population exists and those behind the threats can’t yell loud enough to make us go away.
“That’s all it really is. They’re throwing tantrums. The world is changing and they’re just going to have to get used to it.”
Next on the list of Pride Month events is the sold-out High Tea with the Queens at Cronquist House.
A Queer Prom at the Snell Auditorium in Red Deer Public Library’s downtown branch will be held on June 30. The event will serve as a year-end celebration for many young Central Albertans, and tickets are still available.
For more information visit www.rdqca.org/pride-2023.