Prince Rupert saw its first Pride Month event when more than a dozen participants celebrated the LGBTQ community and equal rights on June 19, along the rainbow walkway in Cow Bay. with cars driving by honking in support, some waving rainbow flags,
City resident and event organizer Angelo Octaviano, said the congregation turned out to be louder and prouder than he expected with passersby and marchers revelling in music, dancing, cars driving by honking in support as well as rainbow flag-waving.
“It was great, like the positive feedback that we got from the community was beyond what I could have imagined,” Octaviano said, with one couple stopping to request all of the Pride marchers be in a photograph with their baby.
Initially organized as a low-key event due to COVID-19 restrictions, Octaviano said he is extremely warmed by the supportive and accepting nature of Prince Rupert to the LGBTQ community.
Pride month is celebrated each June in recognition of the 1969 Stonewall Riots, where LGBTQ persons protested the raiding of the Stonewall Inn by police in Greenwich Village in Manhattan. It is generally recognized as an impetus moment from this point in history as recognition of modern LGBTQ rights and organizing pride marches.
Octaviano said that Pride to him means knowing how blessed he is.
“It means I’m proud of who I am and knowing how far we’ve collectively come as a group of minorities, fighting for our rights just to love who we want to,” he said. “Pride is a way of celebrating my life and making an impact and connection with others just like me.”
“It means waking up every day knowing how blessed I am to share myself with my partner and all my friends and family who love and support me,” Octaviano said.
The city is such that walking down the street with his partner they are able to comfortably hold hands and not worry about negative stuff that has happened, he said.
“Prince Rupert is a really supportive and tolerant community,” he said. “I love how people are wearing rainbow masks and lots of businesses have rainbow safe place stickers, but I wish there was more. There is so much positivity about the LGBTQ community that remains hidden.”
K-J Millar | Journalist
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