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Fierté Simcoe Pride finalizes events for end of July

July 3, 2020   ·   0 Comments

A full slate of fun, educational, and empowering events have been prepared for this year’s Fierté Simcoe Pride celebrations from July 27 to August 9.

They include the 6th Annual Simcoe County Pride Awards, which will be held online this year, a Drive-in Movie Night at Barrie’s Sunset Drive-in, a Virtual Pride Prom, and Trans March: Caravan Edition, with individuals following in their cars.

New to this year’s festivities is an online mini-conference that will feature a small series of local community members facilitating important conversations and educating listeners on a variety of Pride-related topics.

“The mini-conference is really focused on education and offering a space to have potentially hard conversations about the things that are happening around us right now,” noted Keegan Hobson, President of Fierté Simcoe Pride.

He said his organization generally hosts an educational event every year, whether it’s a panel or discussion.

“This is our first time trying to do something a little bigger and having the opportunity to bring in more speakers than we would be able to do otherwise,” Hobson told the Times.

While this year will work quite differently from years past, with most of the events taking place online due to COVID-19, there’s an increased level of accessibility for those who wish to support Fierté Simcoe Pride.

“I would say give virtual events a chance and take some time to come connect with your community, or support and learn about a community you may not be a part of,” said Hobson. “Our events are built by and for our community and we’re here to create experiences for the folks who attend them throughout our two weeks.”

This year’s celebrations provide a great opportunity for allies or members of the LGBTQ community to join in a non-judgemental space and celebrate everyone’s differences while having fun, he noted.

Hobson said Pride gives its community two weeks of the year where they can authentically be themselves and celebrate without fear.

“While a lot of us have that privilege to do so in our day to day lives, a lot of us don’t and I think it’s really powerful and magical to have a space that’s dedicated to people like you, that’s built by people like you,” Hobson explained. “I just think it’s a really transformative experience, especially for folks who don’t get to engage in those ways often.”

The unfortunate reality is many LGBTQ youth aren’t supported by their families and feel uncomfortable being themselves in their own home, so Pride Week gives them a chance to feel accepted and like they belong.

Municipal flag raising and proclamations declaring support for Pride are set to coincide with this year’s celebrations, which shows LGBTQ2S+ individuals that their community is behind them.

While Pride’s flag raisings have been a chance for gatherings of support in the past, this year’s will be watched online instead of in-person, to reduce the risk of COVID-19.

Hobson said the legwork to put the 2020 Pride celebrations into motion is largely complete and organizers are now finalizing some of the finer details as it approaches.

By Sam Odrowski
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter


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