VIDEO: How Pride helps people in Kamloops | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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VIDEO: How Pride helps people in Kamloops

The second annual Kamloops Pride Parade begins on Aug. 26, 2018.
August 26, 2018 - 6:09 PM

KAMLOOPS - The rainbow wasn’t in the sky this rainy August day in Kamloops.

But the rainbows were bright in the streets as hundreds marched the second annual Kamloops Pride Parade. Marchers wearing all vibrant colours circled Victoria Street and Lansdowne Street to and from Riverside Park today, Aug. 26, 2018.

Last year’s pride march on Aug. 20, 2017 there was an estimated 1,000 patrons.

One two-time parade marcher Micheal Meyer says this year’s turnout is comparable to 2017. “I think it’s about the same if not more,” Meyer says. “There probably would be more if it weren’t for the rain.”

In the days leading up to the parade, Meyer noted comments he read online where people seem to feel more free to express their opinions and oppositions towards LGBTQ2+ people.

“Stuff like, ‘Keep it in the bedroom!” he says. “So there’s a real attitude that some straight people have towards gay people, an attitude (they feel) of tolerance which is, ‘I don’t mind if you exist but I don’t want to know that you’re there.’”

In other words, “'I am OK with gay people existing as long as they’re invisible,'” Meyer says, “That’s what I hear when someone says, ‘Keep it in the bedroom.”

Though gay marriage has been legal in Canada since 2005 discrimination against LGBTQ2+ people still happens in Kamloops, like earlier this month when a drag queen was denied a rental suite.

Aren’t these just isolated incidents?

Kamloops Pride’s outreach coordinator Kennedy Healey addressed the notion that these are “isolated incidents” in a speech they made just before the march began.

“When we’re fighting for existence in a system that favours the rich, the able-bodied, the cisgendered, and the heterosexual there’s no such thing as an ‘isolated incident,’” Healey says. “And the suggestion that violence towards a person who [has] been marginalized is an ‘isolated incident’ is an assertion of a system that was built to silence us.”

Marian Hartley who has been married to a woman for 50 years and has lived in Kamloops for 47 years recalls only once incident where her child was beat up for having two moms.

But today celebrating at the Pride Parade holding a rainbow umbrella she says, “Only in Kamloops would I feel safe enough to do this. It [has] evolved so wonderfully.”

What about a straight pride parade?

Katlyn Blaine, who helped send the rainbow flag up at City Hall, explains why straight pride is not necessary.

“Heterosexual couples don’t get harassed for being heterosexual,” she says. “It hasn’t been illegal to be heterosexual. It’s considered ‘normal.’ So they don’t need one, they have rights. It’s just not necessary.”

She also notes that it is still illegal in certain countries to be gay.

Earlier this week we spoke to Marne Chadderton at the Kamloops United Church who moved to Kamloops after she lost her husband. For her, the fact that gay couples were not allowed survivors pension until 2004 is “just wrong.”

“I happen to be straight but I could just as easy be bi or something,” she says. “Does that mean I’m not entitled after I’ve paid taxes all my life?”

How does being visible help?

“What being visible means is letting people know that there’s a whole spectrum,” Meyer says.

He explains that one of the big reasons LGBTQ2+ people feel so much shame is that they are expected to act a certain way. People assume that there are only two gender roles, and that they have to follow specific codes in how they behave, present themselves, and who they should find attractive.

Being surrounded by other LGBTQ2+ people washes the shame away, and what’s left is pride.

For more information

The Kamloops Pride webpage has a list of LGBTQ2+ resources available in Kamloops.


To contact a reporter for this story, email Shelby Thevenot or call (250) 819-6089 or email the editor You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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