Last year’s pride parade in Nanaimo. NEWS BULLETIN file photo

Editorial: Pride week is more than a parade and a party

This year’s pride theme is ‘unity through diversity’

There’s a temptation to think of pride week as a rainbow-coloured spectacle, but we recognize there’s important meaning, too, behind what will be going on in the city this week.

Nanaimo Pride Week begins today, June 5, and culminates Saturday, June 9, with the Nanaimo Pride Parade and Festival downtown.

After our coverage of last year’s event, we received an e-mail from a reader pointing out, rightly, that nowhere in our article did we ever attempt to explain what pride meant and what it was that so many people were celebrating.

Because pride week isn’t just another downtown festival that brings the community together for a parade and activities at the park. Those things happen, but pride, at its core, celebrates members of the LGBTQ community, the diversity of sexual orientations and gender identities. It honours those who have fought for gay and trans rights in the face of discrimination and hate, and offers hope that we can do better. Pride is open to a lot of different interpretations and seems to become ever more inclusive.

RELATED: Nanaimo to show its colours as Pride Week kicks off

RELATED: DJs, bands and drag royalty top the bill at Pride Week

There are some members of the LGBTQ community who have expressed the sentiment that straight couples might not belong at pride, but we don’t think that’s a prevailing view in Nanaimo. We think there are a lot of progressive people here who in a shallow sense, don’t want to miss out on all the fun of pride week, but who are also LGBTQ allies, who will always need to be an important part of the community.

This year’s pride theme is ‘unity through diversity’ and that should be an appealing thought to any of us who want to be who we want to be, and feel how we want to feel.

Happy pride, Nanaimo. Let’s enjoy a week that will be not only colourful, but meaningful.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

280-unit development in Lantzville will proceed to public hearing

Mayor says Clark/Medd properties affect municipality’s future

Nanaimo’s Bastion Street Bridge to close for repairs

Bridge linking downtown Nanaimo to Old City Quarter to close for 18 days to fix deck joints

Young killer whale untangles itself from trap line off Nanaimo’s Rocky Point

DFO marine mammal rescue unit was en route as whale broke free from prawn trap line

City of Nanaimo and RDN re-opening playgrounds

Playgrounds will be back open on Wednesday, June 3, with health guidelines in effect

B.C. records four new COVID-19 cases, Abbotsford hospital outbreak cleared

Four senior home outbreaks also declared over, eight still active

Bank of Canada keeps key interest rate target on hold at 0.25%

Central bank now expects GDP to decline between 10 and 20 per cent compared with the fourth quarter of 2019

Friendly Cove and Kyuquot will remain closed until further notice

Transition of other B.C. communities will be monitored before a decision to ease restrictions

Racist incident shocks Vancouver Island First Nation

Port Alberni RCMP investigating after video shows truck wheeling through Tseshaht territory

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Gold River organizes a shop local initiative to creatively boost economy

Local purchases can earn shoppers $200 gift certificates to be spent on businesses within Gold River

RCMP, coroner investigate murder-suicide on Salt Spring Island

Two dead, police say there is no risk to the public

B.C. schools see 30% of expected enrolment in schools as in-class teaching restarts amid pandemic

Education minister noted that in-class instruction remains optional

Trudeau avoids questions about anti-racism protesters dispersed for Trump photo-op

Prime minister says racism is an issue Canadians must tackle at home, too

Most Read