Calgary joins in June Pride Month celebrations

Get out the rainbow flags, because Pride Calgary wants Calgarians across the city to show their pride during the month of June.

June is Gay Pride Month in both Canada and the United States, and to celebrate, the Calgary gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, queer community will combine their annual pride parade and festival, with newly planned family events, in hopes of catering to a more diverse audience.

“Pride festivals are always outrageous, and ours will stay outrageous,” said Pride Calgary spokesperson Tawde Clarke.

To draw new demographics like suburban gays, gay parents, and parents of gay youth, the Gay and Lesbian Community Services Association is sponsoring an area for family-appropriate pride.

“The GLSCA will have a family-fun zone with games suitable for children,” said Pride Calgary co-chair Tamrin Hildebrandt.

The pride festival and parade, which began as a protest at city hall, has expanded to a large-scale event with sponsorship by gay-friendly companies such as CityTV, CJSW radio, and PR Event Services, as well as a host of Calgary nightclubs and bars.

“This year we’re able to go on a bigger scale,” said Clarke. “We’re moving to more of a central location.”

The pride parade begins at 8th avenue and 8th street downtown and will move down Stephen Avenue Walk. The parade culminates in a street festival held at Olympic Plaza starting at noon on Sun., June 11.

“We really hope to see the parade and street festival grow,” said Hildebrandt, noting Pride Calgary hopes to use the event to emphasize both pride and increase awareness and acceptance in the community.

“We want to be more inclusive as we want the heterosexual community to be more inclusive,” said Hildebrandt. “It’s for everyone. Come out and enjoy the festivities. It’s not just for the gay and lesbian community.”

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