Saskatoon Pride festival celebrates ‘trailblazers’

Saskatoon Pride festival celebrates ‘trailblazers’
WATCH ABOVE: Saskatoon Pride organizers welcome "trailblazers" to lead parade.

At Civic Square in Saskatoon, the two-spirit rainbow and transgender flags now proudly fly.

“It is political, it’s a stance – it’s brave,” Saskatoon Pride chair Amy Rees said. “We’re all heard which is beautiful.”

The pride community is celebrating an important milestone.

2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots in New York on June 28, 1969 – a historic moment that fueled the fire for the LGBTQ rights movement.

READ MORE: What are the Stonewall riots? How a gay bar raid started an uprising and LGBTQ2 Pride

Activists now commemorate the anniversary of that rebellion with annual pride traditions celebrated around the world.

“There’s still so many things in 50 years you would think we would not be needing to make this much noise,” OUTSaskatoon executive director Rachel Loewen Walker said.

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“We’re not there yet.”

This year, Pride organizers in Saskatoon are acknowledging those unprecedented demonstrations by celebrating who they call “trailblazers.”

READ MORE: ‘Loud music and smiling faces’: Queen City marks 30 years of Pride

“Anyone that identifies as a trailblazer – somebody who feels like they’ve been a part of history over the last 50 years,” Rees said. “We’re welcoming everybody to walk in the beginning of the parade with us.”

“If we have 100 people – amazing, if we have five people – amazing.”

Loewen Walker said the open invitation is “a way for us to all be part of the story.”

While the flags remain important symbols of the strides being made, many in the LGBTQ2S community admit the fight for acceptance is ongoing.

“We won’t know where we are until we are looking at it retroactively,” Loewen Walker said.

Pride festivities continue all week, culminating in the parade on June 22.