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Moose Jaw’s first ever pride parade draws hundreds to Saskatchewan’s friendly city

Hundreds out in Moose Jaw for city's first ever pride parade. Matt Myers / Global News

Moose Jaw held its first pride parade on Saturday with hundreds flocking to show their message of love and equality.

“I brought down twenty of my friends, great support so I’m happy,” Jami Symons, an openly gay man said.

Symons is just one of the hundreds of people who took part in the parade. Symons, who is originally from Moose Jaw, traveled all the way from his new home in Calgary to be a part of the event.

“We’re just amazed to be here today to have so much support,” Symons said.

Over 200 participants took part in the parade. This is just one recent example of the tremendous growth in Saskatchewan’s friendly city for which many say was decades in the making.

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“It’s been incredible. We’ve had tons of people coming down to our centre looking for information, looking for resources,” Joe Wickenhauser, Moose Jaw Pride Executive Director said.

MJ Pride opened its first pride centre back in March of 2016 located at St. Andrews Church. Despite all of the success, many LGBT members said they still face discrimination in the small city.

“Before I came out, I felt a lot of discrimination in this town. But you know what, we were kids and I just think that kids are kids.” Symons said.

Jasmine Ghesquiere also participated in the walk.

“People, [since] I came out have thought of me differently, because apparently I’m not the same person,” Ghesquiere explained.

While some say the province still has work to do, others are celebrating.

“I come in the summer to hang out with friends and family and it’s amazing to see just to see how it’s growing and to see the acceptance all around.” Symons said.

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