Pride parade returns to Kingston, Ont.

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After a two year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Kingston, Ont., pride parade made a triumphant return Saturday – Jun 18, 2022

Kingston’s Pride parade was held for the second year in a row Saturday.

The event kicked off at Skeleton Park with hundreds of people marching down Princess Street all the way to Confederation Basin, where there was a Kingston Pride community fair.

Read more: Napanee, Ont., holds first ever pride parade

Andrew Readman marched in the parade with his family, in support of his daughter.

“It felt great. A lot of people were giving us the thumbs up and cheering when they saw it. Unfortunately, I know some people whose parents were not supportive at all,” said Readman, talking about his sign which read “Proud of my gay daughter,”.

Youth from the local queer community were well represented.

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“Being here, being around people that are like me, means a lot to me,” said Alfonsina Hernandez.

“It’s great to see people back, I’m really happy. Covid was such a thing that hit a lot of people hard,” added Eila McAfee.

Read more: Kingston kicks off Pride month with HARS Queer Art Show

A large presence in the local LGBTQ+ community, Trellis which is formerly HARS, had members in attendance.

Gilles Charette, executive director of HIV/Aids Regional Services, spoke about how he’s seen pride grow over the years.

“We’ve seen incremental change in peoples’ acceptance, and the more that people come out and families and communities get to know people who are in the 2SLGBTQ community, the more acceptance builds, because that just comes from getting to know people and knowing their stories,” said Charette.

He said progress moving forward involves being proud of the work that’s been done, while staying focused on the work that lies ahead, such as improving protections for Trans and Non-Binary people.

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