‘It’s the best day of the year’: Thousands celebrate Saskatoon’s Pride parade

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WATCH ABOVE: Thousands came out to celebrate their identity in the Saskatoon Pride Parade, – Jun 24, 2018

It’s a celebration of diversity and inclusivity.

Thousands gathered in downtown Saskatoon to take part in the annual Pride parade.

When Jack Saddleback was 16, he walked in his very first Pride parade. Since then, he’s been going to parades across the country.

READ MORE: Hundreds celebrate Saskatoon’s first two-spirit powwow at University of Saskatchewan

As a two-spirit, Cree, transgender gay man, he says Pride is an opportunity to be unapologetic about who you are.

“[It’s a chance to] celebrate my own identities in a society that tells me I shouldn’t exist, when I do, and many of us in our communities do. It’s all about that celebration of resiliency,” Saddleback said.
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Jack Saddleback in the Saskatoon Pride Parade.

It’s a sentiment echoed many times over, as pride means something different for everyone.

The executive director of OUTSaskatoon, Rachel Loewen Walker, says it means that the queer, trans and two-spirit communities are acknowledged.

“It’s the best day of the year,” Loewen Walker said. “People dress the way they want to dress and have a day where they are embraced and celebrated.”

There was no shortage of community support during the parade. A steady chorus of cheers rang through the city’s streets, while more than 100 floats displayed their own unique spirit and energy.

“It’s beautiful,” said Saskatoon Pride co-chairperson Amy Reese. “It takes those people and the support to be here and to really stand strong for who we are and what we believe in.”

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READ MORE: Queer on the Prairies: author documents history of LGBTQ community in Sask.

While pride and acceptance were front and centre, the LGBTQ2S community admits there’s still a lot of work to be done.

“People are hurting,” Saddleback said. “Because we are being pushed out from our families we’re being pushed out from our other communities. We find belonging, we find peace within Pride parades.”

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