Annual pride parade celebrates diversity and acceptance

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Students and staff show their support at TRU’s pride parade. (Marlys Klossner/The Omega)

Students and staff show their support at TRU’s pride parade. (Marlys Klossner/The Omega)

This year’s pride parade, the fourth annual, was the best attended so far. Several booths were set up from supporting businesses, including David’s Tea, which ran out of free samples before the parade even started. Notable attendees to this year’s parade were Liberal candidate Steve Powrie, NDP candidate Bill Sundhu and city councillor Donovan Cavers.

Preceding the parade, TRUSU LGBT representative Julian Simpson and TRU President Alan Shaver gave rousing speeches about diversity and acceptance.

“Transphobia has got to go!” chanted the participants. With trans issues ever-present in the news these days, it’s no surprise that that was their first slogan.

“I think it’s important to bring together members of our community to socialize, make friends and also celebrate where we are today,” said Pride Club President Lino Caputo.

To keep some of the momentum from last week’s parade, the TRUSU Equity Committee will host an open ”Coming Out and Being Out” discussion.

“[The discussion] is TRUSU’s way to help further the advocacy surrounding LGBT students. It’s also one of our educational events. It helps create discussions surrounding the issues faced by LGBT students, staff and faculty members and increases visibility via discussion. It also helps provide support for those who don’t feel like they have any,” Simpson said.

“We have three official panelists telling their stories, what it was like for them to come out, what it is like to be out, and essentially what it is like to navigate in this community that they’re in right now. After the three panelists finish their bit, we’ll break into five different groups to discuss more in-depth. The five topics will be coming out, being out, accessing resources, facing discrimination and what it’s like to be an ally,” Simpson said.

The Coming Out and Being Out event will take place Oct. 9 at 6 p.m. in the TRUSU Lecture Hall.