City of Nanaimo has continued its tradition of raising a Pride flag for the month of June.
A ceremony took place at city hall Wednesday, June 8, with approximately 120 community members in attendance. Coun. Ian Thorpe addressed the crowd, stating this first time in three years an in-person event has taken place.
“June is Pride Month as we recognize and remember that (two-spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer) people have existed throughout human history and across all cultures and have made significant contributions to the world,” said Thorpe. “While progress has been made, people still face a great deal of inequity and exclusion around the world and even here in Canada. And here in Nanaimo, we’re not perfect, but we are striving … to make our city better by valuing acceptance by valuing diversity by valuing inclusion.”
Mayor Leonard Krog proclaimed June 2022 as Pride Month previously, and Thorpe read the proclamation.
“Pride matters because everybody should feel comfortable and safe being themselves wherever they are,” Thorpe said.
Also speaking at the flag-raising event was Sheila Malcolmson, Nanaimo MLA.
“I want to recognize, too, that we have lost a lot of friends and allies and peers in the community in the last couple of years and we haven’t been able to be together to honour those lives in the way that we ordinarily would as a community,” said Malcolmson.
Drag king Adam Lamborghini recited two songs, Light One Candle and a “queer version” of Those Are the Days.
The flag was raised by Dave Spirit Wolf Bodaly and Rick Dagg, both members of the local LGBTQ community.
The progress Pride flag includes the traditional rainbow stripes as well as arrow-shaped stripes of white, pink and blue, representing the transgender community, and black and brown to represent people of colour.