Calgary LGBTQ community members create alternative Pride event where uniforms are welcome

Calgary community members create Pride event where uniforms are welcome
WATCH: Members of Calgary’s LGBTQ community have organized a Pride event where uniforms are welcome. Dallas Flexhaug has details.

Two members of the LGBTQ community disappointed with Calgary Pride’s decision not to allow police to march in the parade in uniform have organized their own event, where they say all uniforms are welcome.

“I think for me, in particular, this Pride festival is really contingent on having public service members – including the fire department, EMS and Calgary police –  support  in keeping us safe throughout the week of celebrations, whether it be at the Pride parade, Pride festival and then other community events,” said Gregory John, the co-creator of Unity of Uniform.
“It was disappointing to see that while they were a requirement [in] a lot of the planning that had to be approved by the city … some of Calgary Pride were making it this decision to exclude.”
LISTEN: Uniforms are welcome at alternative Pride event

He said they were looking for an opportunity to do something that could unite the community, adding they expect the event to sell out.

John said he hopes that by asking that people show up in their own personal uniform, it will “turn the word ‘uniform’ into something a little more positive.”

“For me, I’m a member of the Metis community, as well as the LGBTQ community, so my personal uniform would be something that … could include my Metis status, a rainbow flag, a Canadian flag,” he offered as an example.

John said he’s encouraged that Calgary Pride, the Calgary Police Service and Mayor Naheed Nenshi are committed to ongoing discussions with diverse communities within Calgary.

WATCH: Jim Heaton joins Global Calgary with details on the Unity in Uniform event on Friday, Sept. 1, 2017.

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Unity in Uniform: a community-based kickoff to YYC Pride 2017
Unity in Uniform: a community-based kickoff to YYC Pride 2017
“You know, there are issues around police violence and people’s experiences around that – including what would be perceived as very traumatic experiences,” he said.He said Unity in Uniform hopes to create a safe space to look at some of the issues happening within the LGBTQ community.Global News contacted the Calgary Police Service, Calgary Pride and The Mission but did not immediately receive a response.Unity in Uniform is Friday, Sept. 1 at The Mission restaurant on 4 St. S.W., starting at 6 p.m.
WATCH: As Calgary Pride kicks off, Nancy Hixt looks at the ongoing controversies surrounding the parade and who is and isn’t welcome to march.
Despite discussion, controversy continues over Calgary Pride parade
Despite discussion, controversy continues over Calgary Pride parade