First South Shore Pride Week kicks off this Sunday

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Pride flags will be raised at several South Shore communities on Tuesday for South Shore Pride Week. (Jane Roberston/CBC - image credit)
Pride flags will be raised at several South Shore communities on Tuesday for South Shore Pride Week. (Jane Roberston/CBC - image credit)

For Shelley McCorriston, the first South Shore Pride Week starting on Sunday marks a major transition of inclusion and acceptance in her Nova Scotia community.

McCorriston, the director of the Lunenburg Pride board, told CBC Radio's Information Morning that growing up she was closeted, as there were no symbols in the community to represent who she was as a person.

As recently as 2020 the Municipality of Chester refused to fly the Pride flag before reversing its decision.

Submitted by Shelley McCorriston
Submitted by Shelley McCorriston

The Pride group started out with a small number of people in 2016, McCorriston said. It struggled with members leaving in 2017, but was eventually registered with the province as a society in 2018.

"And now we're hosting a full week of pride events bringing the community together in a real inclusive way, which is something these rural towns and villages that pepper the South Shore have simply never seen, at least on this level, McCorriston said. "I'm just happy to be a part of that."

A number of events will take place over the week at various South Shore locations.

The week kicks off on Sunday with a Pride Dog Show at the Gold River community centre starting at noon.

There will be Pride flags raised in Mahone Bay, Lunenburg, Chester and Hubbards on Tuesday, McCorriston said.

The week will culminate with a drag show and dance at the Lunenburg fire department on Saturday. McCorriston said a complete list of events can be found on the Lunenburg Pride Facebook page.

Julia Mantelli, an LGBTQ ally who helped start Lunenburg Pride, told Information Morning it is important that everyone feels welcome in the community, regardless of their gender or sexual identity.

"It's not just about allowing space for others — that's important — but actively participating," Mantelli said.

"Because that really allows our community to grow together, create space where we all know each other, have fun together, and can support each other as a small, strong community like Lunenburg is."

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