Pride is celebrated annually around the globe from June to September. Events are held to recognize and celebrate equity, inclusion, diversity and the achievements of the TLGBTIAPQQ2S+ (Trans, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual, Intersex, Asexual, Pansexual, Queer, Questioning, 2-Spirited) community.
COVID-19 forced the cancellation of in-person Pride events and festivals. As a result, OPSEU/SEFPO’s Rainbow Alliance arc-en-ciel (RAA) decided to create a space for everyone to celebrate Pride using a virtual platform while remaining safe at home.
The 2021 OPSEU/SEFPO Pride season started with a countdown to the main Pride event which was held on Sunday, September 19 in North Bay. The RAA hosted a series of free weekly Pride DJ Nights that took place all summer long. With seven different DJs and sounds, OPSEU/SEFPO members gathered together every Saturday for seven weeks, to chat and dance the night away!
The main Pride affair was OPSEU/SEFPO’s first Virtual Pride event. It was dedicated to all frontline and essential workers and to thank them for keeping our communities functioning during this ongoing pandemic.
Prior to the main event, the RAA also ran a Drag Queen Contest. OPSEU/SEFPO members were invited to submit a recorded drag performance for a chance to be crowned Queen, on stage, at the Virtual Pride event in North Bay. In the end, there were two successful drag queens: Bianca Allen and Queen Dinah Might. They each sashayed all over the stage during a lip sync battle that eventually hailed them both victorious!
The main event was a great success thanks in large part to a roster of artists from diverse walks of life. It featured Indigenous drummers, spoken word, comedy sketches, touching speeches and show stopping performances by the event’s headliner, Priyanka, winner of Canada’s Drag Race!
Beyond the festivities, the significance of Pride is to promote the visibility of TLGBTIAPQQ2S+ people; provide an opportunity to break stereotypes; and show support to family and friends who are queer. We thank everyone for their continued support during this Pride season and look forward to next year!
For those who may have missed out on the event and/or would like to relive the show, watch the recording here: https://vimeo.com/608970622
If you have questions about this event or would like information about Pride in your community, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
OPSEU/SEFPO Rainbow Alliance arc-en-ciel