Kingston Pride Parade marches down Princess Street

Over 450 people participated in parade   

Kingston Pride Parade.
Photo: 

On June 16, Kingston’s LGBTQ+ community gathered in McBurney Park to celebrate Pride Day and march down Princess Street for the city’s annual Pride Parade.

Saturday’s events saw organizations like HIV/AIDS Regional Services (HARS), the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), and the Kingston Youth Shelter among the 38 participants who set up dozens of colourful booths in the park.

Kingston Pride Ambassador Emrys De Sousa kicked off the celebrations with a speech in McBurney Park.  

“We are not marching only for ourselves, we are marching for those who’ve come before us,” they said. “We’re marching for people today like those in Lebanon, whose pride celebrations were cancelled. We’re marching for the future.”

“I am so grateful for the opportunity that I’ve been given,” De Sousa, who is Kingston’s first Pride Ambassador, later told The Journal. “I’m really excited to help advocate for and represent the community to the best of my abilities and do right by them.”

Ruth Woods, President of Kingston Pride, led the parade dressed in a rainbow coloured gown. 

“I’ve had the pleasure of working with a very dedicated executive this year,” she told The Journal. “We’ve tried to organize a good pride event, and we’re hoping everyone will have a really good day. I’m really grateful for all the people who have worked on putting this together.” 

The AMS also marched in the parade, representing Queen’s undergrads. 

“I think it was really important for us to join, and I think today’s a day to celebrate,” AMS Social Issues Commissioner, Myriam Djossou, said in an interview. 

"I think that as the AMS, as people who represent an entire student body and its diversity, it’s just so great that we’re here and taking part in this.”

“As the AMS, I think it’s important that we recognize the diverse community and that we represent them as much as we represent everyone else, and that we show that we’re inclusive in everything that we do, and that we support each other and support our students,” AMS President Miguel Martinez added. 

Julie Greavett, a local Kingston resident, watched the parade holding signs of encouragement for the LGBTQ+ community. Greavett said she wanted to encourage marchers in case protesters, similar to those from Barrie’s Pride Parade, made an appearance. 

“It was really nerve wracking for me to walk from my car to here,” she said. “My heart was beating fast, people were staring at me. And that was only thirty seconds of what everyone here has lived through their entire lives.” 

 

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