6th Annual Pridefest Kicks Off in the Sault

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The LGBTQ2S+ community and its supporters gathered at the Civic Centre Sunday morning to kick off the sixth annual Pridefest week with the flag raising.

“It’s been tremendous to watch this event grow,” Mayor Provenzano told SaultOnline.

“Sault Ste. Marie has a great welcoming community, but there’s always work to do, and the folks involved in Pride are leading the way and they’re showing us and teaching us how to be respectful and inclusive.”

This year’s Loud and Proud event at the Bushplane Museum also included a Be True to You clothing swap, allowing the trans community access to clothing that makes them feel like who they are.

“Sometimes that transition can be very expensive clothing wise,” event organizer Susan Rajamaki told SaultOnline.

Rajamaki said she thinks events like this are important “for other queer community members to see that we’re here.”

“We’re here and we can be successful. You can lead a successful life and with a wonderful amount of support from the community and know that there is acceptance.”

For Flynn Gore, who’s a drag king, this event is “a beautiful thing.”

“It’s everything to have a safe space. I didn’t have one when I was coming to terms with myself, so being here with a whole bunch of people and showing them that you are okay who you are is beautiful.”

Gore’s advice to anyone coming to terms with who they are?

“You have to accept yourself first. It’s really cliche, but you can’t love anyone else until you love yourself, and it’s hard but you’ll get there. It does get better and it gets so much more fun.”

For more information and the full week’s schedule, click here.

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