‘Spread love and joy’: Ladysmith resident creates community’s first Pride Society

'Spread love and joy': Ladysmith resident creates community's first Pride Society
Ladysmith Pride Society/Facebook

A Ladysmith resident is looking to create a safe space for the local queer community by starting the town’s first Pride Society.

Kezia Cloke grew up in Ladysmith and always felt like people made assumptions about the 2SLGBTQIA+ community.

“They just didn’t have the education, community support and representation of queer people to really realize what queer people are,” Cloke said. “We come in all shapes, sizes and colours, and we really are just here to spread love and joy.”

She really felt like the town needed a space that was safe for people to be themselves and share their experiences.

After seeing a few other societies popping up in surrounding communities, Cloke felt like it was time Ladysmith had one as well.

“If no one else will, then I might as well be the one,” she explained.

The Ladysmith Pride Society coincidentally launched during Pride month.

While Cloke said that was unintentional, it was also an important time to launch given the animosity the 2SLGBTQIA+ community is currently facing.

“It’s so important now because of all the vitriol hatred towards LGBTQ people,” she said. “[The society] is just gonna be a great experience for everyone in the town and for the future of Ladysmith.”

The Ladysmith Pride Society won’t be hosting any events or celebrations during this year’s Pride month as it’s currently looking for volunteers and board members.

She hopes that next year the society will be able to hold Ladysmith’s first Pride parade.

Anyone looking to join or volunteer is being encouraged to reach out through the Society’s Facebook or Instagram pages.

Cloke said that is also where people will find out information about future events.

Ladysmith isn’t the only community having its first Pride experience.

Duncan is hosting its first Pride parade on Sunday and Tofino has its first Pride march next week.

READ MORE: Tofino prepares for first Pride march next week

Mackenzie ReadMackenzie Read

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