A Pride event, also known as a Pride gathering, march, or festival, is a specific type of event that celebrates and supports the 2S/LGBTQ+ (two-spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning) community. These events typically take place during Pride Month, which is June in Edmonton, although they can also occur at different times in various locations.
Here are some key differences between Pride events and other types of events:
- 2S/LGBTQ+ Focus: Pride events are specifically organized to celebrate and advocate for the 2S/LGBTQ+ community. They create a space for 2S/LGBTQ+ individuals and allies to come together, express themselves, raise awareness about 2S/LGBTQ+ issues, and promote equality and acceptance. Other events may have different themes or purposes unrelated to 2S/LGBTQ+ rights.
- Symbolism and Identity: Pride events often feature symbolic elements, such as rainbow flags, which are recognized as a symbol of 2S/LGBTQ+ pride and diversity. These events aim to create a safe and inclusive environment where individuals can express their true selves and celebrate their sexual orientations and gender identities openly. Other events may not have such specific symbols or focus on personal identity and diversity.
- Historical Significance: Pride events have roots in the 2S/LGBTQ+ rights movement and commemorate and celebrate significant historical events such as the decriminalization of homosexuality in Canada or the U.S. Stonewall Riots in 1969, which marked a turning point in the fight for 2S/LGBTQ+ rights. Pride events are a way to honour the struggles and achievements of the 2S/LGBTQ+ community and acknowledge the ongoing work towards equality. Other events may not have this historical context or connection to social justice movements.
- Activism and Advocacy: Pride events often include elements of activism and advocacy for 2S/LGBTQ+ rights and issues. They provide a platform for organizations, activists, and community members to raise awareness about discrimination, promote equal rights, and challenge societal norms. Other events may focus on entertainment, education, or various other purposes, without necessarily prioritizing activism or advocacy.
- Community Engagement: Pride events foster a sense of community among 2S/LGBTQ+ individuals and allies. They encourage social interaction, networking, and solidarity among attendees, creating spaces where people can find support, build connections, and celebrate shared experiences. Other events may have different objectives and may not emphasize community building to the same extent.
It’s important to note that while Pride events have unique characteristics, they can also vary in format, size, and focus depending on the specific location, cultural context, and organizers. The primary goal of these events is to celebrate, empower, and advocate for 2S/LGBTQ+ individuals, fostering a more inclusive and accepting society.