The Queen City Pride Parade went into full swing Saturday on 15th Ave and Lorne St.
Joyous crowds kicked off the return of the parade as hundreds gathered after a two-year pandemic hiatus.
“Love is love” was the overriding message of the day as Queen City Pride held their annual pride parade.
Among the marchers was Mirtha Rivera, board member of Queen City Pride who said it takes months of planning to organize the parade, but she is happy because it’s something to look forward to for the whole year.
“My heart is full of happiness because I was one of the original members in the first parade. There was only about 20 of us and we covered our faces and we didn’t have a permit. We were not allowed. We were not legal. And now you can see that we have support from everybody. The community is large and this youth, I feel is the future. And they’re so free, so happy. And I’m happy for them, I’m with them.”
She said that first pride parade in Regina was in 1989, and participants marched because they did not want to keep hiding their relationships and their love. They were not supposed to be on the street but ended up marching to the legislature.
“I never thought I will see this, but I wanted to see it. So it’s like a dream come true for me. It. To see all of this happening and being so free,” Rivera said.
The parade is just one part of the ongoing 10-day Queen City pride festival that recognizes the gender and sexually diverse communities of Regina.
Over 80 colourful floats made their way up to the ledge, which exceeded the number from May 2019 when they had about 70 floats.
At this year’s parade you couldn’t help but notice a large youth contingent coming out in support.
Flo Mingo with Lulu’s Lodge, who was also marching, said, “I’m extremely excited. It’s been a long time since we’ve been able to come together and celebrate. To have everybody here and to see all our allies and friends joining its such a wonderful experience.”
“When I was young I didn’t see this kind of thing. So for our youth to see the number of people out there supporting them. They’re allowed to be exactly who they want to be. That’s extremely important for somebody growing up.”
The parade was also attended by Regina Rosemont MLA Trent Wotherspoon.
“I’m here as an ally and I’m here to to be very clear that love is love and that all people in Saskatchewan are loved. We know that that equality is not in place across Saskatchewan for many. And we know that many people put up with harassment, abuse and bullying and hate and that’s why we need to continue to march, continue to fight for progress and for equality.”
He added that it is a beautiful thing to see hundreds of people lining the streets and the young people being a part of it. He was there with his eight-year-old son William.
The celebration is expected to go on until 11 p.m.
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