Rainbow flags, glitter and smiles were just some of the things that filled downtown Regina Saturday afternoon at the Queen City Pride parade.
Jesse Ireland, co-chair of Queen City Pride, said it’s the largest one in Regina’s history with around 100 floats and 3,000 people hitting the streets to support those in the LGBTQ community.
He added it really emphasizes this year’s Pride Festival theme: limitless.
“Typically, when we’re able to band together and we join forces and we celebrate together as one community, we have that strength in numbers and show those limitless possibilities that exist in the city,” he explained.
— Jessie Anton (@jessieanton_) June 16, 2018
For most, the Pride parade’s a celebration of how far the LGBTQ community has come in the fight for equality, but it’s also a place to reflect on the challenges many continue face.
“It’s just (LGBTQ people) trying to say, ‘we want rights, too. We don’t have to feel excluded — we are people. Just because we’re not like everyone else, it doesn’t mean that we aren’t human,'” said Samuel Pratt.
As someone who identifies as both gay and Indigenous, Pratt said he’s faced his fair share of struggles over the years, and he finds taking part in the Pride parade therapeutic.
“(The Pride parade) helped me realize who my people are. This is where I belong, this is where I come from and this is where my rights originated from,” he said.
But Pratt noted he didn’t always feel that way; it wasn’t until his partner, Aaron Burns, took him to his first Queen City Pride parade two years ago that he really felt comfortable in his own skin.
“I was feeling ecstatic and I was overjoyed to the point of almost tears because I have never felt so welcome in one place before,” he remembered.
“(The Pride parade) has made me realize that no matter who you are or what you are, you should never have to hide. If the world can’t handle you, that’s their problem — not yours.”