2024 Nanaimo Pride in photos

Photo by Madeline Dunnett/The Discourse
The Pride Flag has evolved over the years.

The sun was shining when the 2024 Nanaimo Pride Parade kicked off on June 9 at 11 a.m. Put on by Nanaimo Pride Society, the parade marched through downtown Nanaimo and ended at Maffeo Sutton Park. Once at the park, Nanaimo Pride Festival began at noon and featured music, food, vendors and a kids zone.

Photo by Madeline Dunnett/The Discourse

Featured in the above photo is the Progress Pride Flag. This flag includes blue, pink and white stripes to represent the trans community.

The black and brown stripes represent communities of colour, and according to Human Rights Campaign, the black stripe is also an homage to communities lost to the HIV/AIDS crisis. More recent than the Progress Pride Flag is a similar flag with a purple circle to represent the intersex community, made by Valentino Vecchietti in 2021.

The 2SLGBTQQIA+ community still has a lot to fight for. Photo by Julie Chadwick/The Discourse.

Recently in Cowichan, a Pride flag was vandalized shortly before the beginning of Pride month.

There’s no doubt progress has been made when it comes to 2SLGBTQQIA+ rights, but that doesn’t mean the hate has gone away, The Discourse editor Shalu Mehta reported in her May 30 newsletter. As Cowichan’s latest incident and the rise of hate-motivated protests suggest, it’s getting worse.

According to Statistics Canada, police-reported hate crimes related to sexual orientation and sex and gender have been increasing, and those are just the incidents reported to the police that they deem as hate crimes. Nearly three-quarters of police-reported hate crimes related to sexual orientation specifically targeted the gay and lesbian population.

Read more: Reporter’s Notebook: ‘Pride is a protest’ as queerphobia rises on Vancouver Island

Photo by Julie Chadwick/The Discourse

Pride began as a one-year anniversary to the Stonewall riots — an uprising at a queer bar in New York City in 1969 in response to years of police raids on queer spaces that made it more and more difficult for queer people to gather.

Same-sex marriage was not legalized in New York until 2011 and in 1969, any type of queer expression was often actively and violently shut down by police.

The Bisexual Umbrella refers to all the different identities and ways that someone may fall under a bisexual identity. It also, in this case, may be an umbrella with the bisexual pride colours. Photo by Madeline Dunnett/The Discourse.

According to bi.org, the term bisexual includes a wide variety of attractions, identities and behaviours — “just as there are millions of ways to be straight, gay, lesbian or asexual, there are as many ways to be bi as there are bi people.”

Identities that can fall under the bisexual umbrella include: Pansexual, omnisexual and polysexual. Some people who identify with these labels may or may not also identify as bisexual, or they may not choose to use the bi label.

A fan with the lesbian flag. Photo by Julie Chadwick/The Discourse.

The lesbian flag has an intricate history, and the most common flag seen today is the sunset flag. It often has seven stripes but is sometimes shortened to contain five stripes (as seen in the above photo). The flag was created in 2018 by Emily Gwen.

To learn more about the various Pride flags and what they represent, check out The Human Rights Campaign website.

Photo by Julie Chadwick/The Discourse

Cowichan Pride Walk and Festival takes place on June 23 at Duncan City Square. There is also a Cowichan Pride Dance Party on Saturday, June 21 at the Duncan Eagles Hall.

The Comox Valley’s Pride parade and festival will take place at Simms Park on Saturday, August 24. Find out more about Vancouver Island’s Pride celebrations by checking out The Discourse’s Pride Guide.

Madeline Dunnett, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Discourse

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