NORTH PERTH – As July approaches, North Perth Pride finished their celebrations for Pride Month this past weekend with an evening of dancing, DJing, and drag.
This is the second year that Pride ran in North Perth, and this year was busier than last. While last year was a single drag show on co-founder Gebadia Haverkamp’s farm, this year four shows were staged – a comedy night on June 8, a drag bingo on June 17, Family Pride on June 18, and a Night Out, also on Saturday.
Hollie Chavarria, co-founder of North Perth Pride, said that this year’s festivities was 100 per cent a success. On bingo night they sold 150 tickets alone, and throughout the whole month they saw returning and new faces come out to the many events. The drag entertainment, provided by Troyboy Entertainment, was right at home at the Kin Station. The community engagement she saw was fantastic, too. She said the support from the community and allies was a highlight.
“My neighbour told me that he has never seen as many Pride flags flying in the city,” she said.
At Family Pride on June 18, Jen Courtney was one of those supporters. She brought her daughter Harper to the event, who dragged her from the displays to the bouncy castle. Courtney said that she is doing her job as a parent bringing her there. “I’m passionate about raising the next generation… hopefully our grandkids live in a better world.”
As a local business owner, Chavarria said it was also incredible seeing support from other businesses. At a Night Out there was a silent auction with gift baskets and prizes, some of which were donated by local businesses.
At the events on Saturday, a cut-out display of two hands forming a heart drew attendees to take photos. Designer Michelle Czyzo said that to design and paint the display it took a week of constant work – even sneaking in a few hours after tucking her kids in. Every inch of the art piece, Chavarria says, has a deeper meaning. The line pattern on the hands was inspired by an Italian artist who does a similar design and is meant to allow anyone to see themselves in the piece – regardless of ethnicity. “It’s in celebration of whoever you are,” she explained. Even the font has a deeper meaning. Gilbert is an open-sourced, free font that was created in 2017 in memory of Gilbert Baker, the designer of the Pride flag.
Chavarria says that next year the display will make a return. After a whirlwind month, she says that she’s already thinking about next year’s Pride events and how they will continue the festivities.
Connor Luczka, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Listowel Banner