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Winnipeg celebrates biggest Pride Parade in history, spreading love and acceptance

Click to play video: 'Winnipeg celebrates biggest Pride Parade in history, spreading love and acceptance'
Winnipeg celebrates biggest Pride Parade in history, spreading love and acceptance
Winnipeg celebrates biggest Pride Parade in history, spreading love and acceptance – Jun 4, 2023

Winnipeg’s Pride Parade saw its largest turnout ever as thousands of people marched through the city’s streets earlier on Sunday, spreading love and acceptance.

There was a sea of colour along Portage Avenue as 160 groups and over 10,000 people walked by to celebrate Pride month and those who didn’t march were cheering from the sidelines.

“People are pretty excited. There are lots of kids out, people are bringing their dogs and they’re dressed up and it’s a really exciting time,” said Winnipegger Mckenzie Campbell.

Click to play video: 'Winnipeggers express joy and excitement at 2023 Pride Parade'
Winnipeggers express joy and excitement at 2023 Pride Parade

Additionally, social media was flooded with support for the parade with pictures from those in attendance.

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Winnipeg’s Mayor Scott Gillingham went to the parade and took to Twitter to tweet his support, saying it was an “incredible display of community spirit.”

Gillingham was not the only person who tweeted support for the community and celebrated the parade. Councillor for Charleswood-Tuxedo-Westwood Evan Duncan tweeted, wishing everyone a happy Pride season.

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Manitoba’s Liberal Leader Dougald Lamont was at the parade and also tweeted, wishing everyone a happy Pride.

Another person in attendance was Kate Fenske with the Downtown Winnipeg Biz who tweeted, “What an incredible celebration of love, inclusion and Pride.”

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Wherever people looked, whether it was on social media or out on the streets of the city, support for the LGBTQ2 community was seen and celebrated.

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The day began with a rally on the steps of the Manitoba Legislature at 10 a.m. during which Lt. Gov. Anita Neville acknowledged the rise in anti-LGBTQ2 sentiment in the province — including the recent push to ban books with queer themes in Brandon School Division.

“You can dance to celebrate the achievements of Pride over the years, or you can dance to defy those people who don’t want you to dance,” said Neville.

And after seeing multiple anti-trans laws being passed in the United States, people at Pride say it’s time to be even more visible.

Click to play video: 'Winnipeggers speak out about the importance of support for the LGBTQ+ community'
Winnipeggers speak out about the importance of support for the LGBTQ+ community

“I think Pride’s really important because human rights are under attack right now and that includes trans rights and LGBTQ rights, so I am here to support all of my family and friends who belong to that community and whose rights are under attack, so I think it’s really important the city comes out and supports that right now,” said Campbell.

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Statistics Canada reports hate crimes based on sexual orientation rose by 61 per cent from 2020-2021, a figure which some see as reason for Pride to return to its origin: a protest.

“It feels like there are new attacks on queer and trans communities every day,” said Jaime Sadgrove, manager of communications and advocacy for the Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity.

Sadgrove cites the increase in anti-trans rhetoric in politics and the classroom as reason political intervention and basic education is necessary, but also recognizes not everything is dim.

“Seeing the way in which (youth) standing up to this hate with love and with pride is something that gives me hope for the future,” they said.

with files from Global’s Katherine Dornian and Nicole Buffie

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