By Jensen, Randy on June 24, 2020.
The City of Lethbridge helped celebrate and commemorate the beginning of Lethbridge Pride Week Monday evening with the annual raising of the Pride flag at city hall.
The evening was live-streamed to audiences throughout the city and surrounding area to continue the City’s tradition of promoting and celebrating equality and diversity for all.
“It has been great, I have seen city hall raise the Pride flag for many years and it makes a world of difference to know that the government in the city is behind pride and stuff like that,” says Javice Campbell, Pride Fest speaker. “I have seen other places not raise flags and not stand behind that and that says a lot about that city, the council and the government behind it.”
Campbell joined Marshall Vielle on Monday to share their stories of perseverance through ignorance and their journey to acceptance. Although the Pride flag is still seen as a controversial topic to some members of the community, Campbell says the continued advocacy for Pride has helped silence the ignorance in the community to make room for the spread of acceptance and love.
“It is a very controversial topic and there is some sensitivity behind the topic,” says Campbell. “The awareness of it and the acceptance of the city has improved. When I first got here I could tell there was a large issue with it and over the years, whether people have accepted or not, they have been a little more silent with their negativity towards it, so I am not too bothered by it anymore.”
Over the last few years, the City has shown its support for the LGBTQ+ community through various funding grants for the festival, community programming, as well as the recent motion moved forward to ban the use of conversion therapy. Mayor Chris Spearman spoke at the flagraising ceremony to commemorate the work that has been done and to acknowledge the work that remains.
“June is Pride Month to celebrate the diversity that makes us stronger, including LGBTQ+ people around the world,” says Spearman. “As an organization, the City of Lethbridge has placed great importance on diversity and inclusion, supporting Pride activities continues to be important to us. As a municipality, Lethbridge continues to work at being an employer and a community that celebrates diversity, promotes equality and provides a welcoming and inclusive environment for all that work and live here.”
As members of the Lethbridge Pride Committee joined together to celebrate the annual flag raising, they also kicked off the start of Lethbridge Pride Week, where this year events can be found online due to COVID-19. For more information on this year’s restricted events, visit lethbridgepridefest.ca.
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