Sheet Harbour Pride plans bigger presence this year

·3 min read

SHEET HARBOUR—Organizers of Sheet Harbour’s annual Pride events are beefing up their calendar of activities from one to two days this year, including a flag raising, public talk, lunch, BBQ, and a pink triangle garden party hosted by noted gay rights activist Robin Metcalfe.

The expanded event (July 30-31) is designed to enhance awareness of the 2SLGBTQIA+ [TwoSpirit, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual] community and their needs in the area, says co-organizer Lara Kaden, executive director of the Sheet Harbour Sexual Health Centre.

“We need a little bit more acceptance,” she told the Journal last week. “This year, it will be Pride Weekend. Next year, maybe, it’ll be Pride Week. We’re trying to make it bigger.”

New to the event this year is co-organizer Robin Metcalfe—a well-known writer and cultural activist in the 2SLGBTQIA+ communities locally, across Canada and internationally—who recently moved permanently to Sheet Harbour, where he has family roots.

“One of the reasons I became a member of sexual health centre is because I have a long history here, but I’ve only lived here as a full time residence since the end of 2020,” he said in an interview. “I was in the [Sheet Harbour] pride walk last year, and though I am aware of queer people in the in the area, in Sheet Harbour proper there’s not been an socially organized queer community. So I’m working with the sexual health centre and with the Eastern Shore Pride people to try to pull together more of that community queer space here.”

Metcalfe will deliver a talk on Lesbian and Gay pulp fiction at the Sheet Harbour public library at 11 a.m. on Saturday, July 30. On Sunday at 2 p.m., he’ll host a pink triangle garden party at his home on Passage Road. “The pink triangle us is used as a gay liberation symbol,” he explained. “Harbour Breezes Daylilies in Salmon River Bridge has developed a pink triangle day lily, which should be in bloom in my garden by then.”

He added: “I also have what I think is the largest queer historical archive in private hands in Atlantic Canada …[which has] materials from across Canada and other parts of the world that I’ve collected as they’ve come my way locally and nationally in the movement, and [from] international conferences I’ve attended over the years.”

Kaden says this year’s Pride celebrations are especially important. “I feel like we're actually regressing,” she said. “Sexual Health Nova Scotia [recently] released [a] statement about one top doctor, who was performing reassigning surgeries [and] cannot get health care funding anymore.”

Sheet Harbour Pride begins at 10 a.m. on July 30 with a flag raising at McPhee House, followed by a Pride walk to the public library (10:30 a.m.); Metcalfe’s talk (11 a.m.); lunch at the Harbourside Café (1 p.m.); and a BBQ at LEA Place Women’s Resource Centre (5 p.m.). The garden party starts at 2 p.m., July 31.

Alec Bruce, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Guysborough Journal

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