Alright, let’s assume that at this point in your life, you are probably pretty familiar with the concept of Pride. If you’re not, stay with me, we’ll get there together.
Sure cities like San Fran, The Big Apple and even Vancouver get all the fame and glory when it comes Pride Parades and parties. But look out! In the words of the late, great Sherman Hemsley, Calgary is “Movin’ On Up” in the world of gender and sexual equality and basic human rights, through our own ever growing Pride celebrations.
This year’s celebratory Pride theme is “Allies”, a pretty important one considering Pride itself is about bringing people together.
Christa Kahl, Case Manager at AIDS Calgary is more than familiar with the importance of this year’s theme. As an advocate for human rights, she’s actually traveled to both national and international Pride celebrations.
“I think Calgary is really great at celebrating the diversity we have in our city,” says Christa. “I was really excited to see last year’s turnout, it says a lot about how far we’ve come.”
It’s often assumed by some of our neighboring country-people, that we’re just a bunch of rootin’-tootin’ cowboys out here in the wild west, who wouldn’t know the likes of sexual diversity if it slapped us straight in the mouth.
But as Christa points out, last year’s Pride Parade featured several Albertan politicians, including our own claim to fame Mayor, (who really contributes to the overall awesomeness of our city!).
“I think as a somewhat smaller city, we are making incredible progress in shedding those stuffy old stereo-types we may have had put upon us as Calgarians or Albertans,” says Christa. “Disappearing are the days when the gay community needed to go to underground clubs or parties. Now are the days when we can all get together and just have an ass-shakin’ good-time despite who you want to go home with.”
And that’s really what Calgary Pride is about: an ass-shakin’ good-time with a purpose.
If you don’t make it out to the endless array of Pride events this week, then I hope to see you at the Parade on September 2. But if you don’t make it to the Parade, then I hope to see you embracing Calgary’s diversity by making allies with someone who might be just a bit different then you.
And then I’d like to see you out on the dance floor shakin’ your ass without a care in the world!