Strong turnout for Pride

Lethbridge Pride Fest Society hosted their 16th annual Pride parade and celebration on Saturday.

Kim Siever, president of OUTreach, says he was very impressed with this year’s turnout.

"We had an entry in the parade and we had more people marching with us than previous years," said Siever.

He says this year they had 20-30 people join them, whereas in other years it was around 10.

River Stone says the festivities were fun, however there could be more done to make it more accessible to those with limited mobility.

"Having more seating would help for a lot of the people using canes and walkers for sure. When it comes to wheelchairs, maybe having a priority lane in the gully that they set up the kiosks in would probably help a lot, said Stone.

Lethbridge Pride started in 2007 when a small group of people of the 2SLGBTQ+ community gathered together for a BBQ on the outskirts of town.

Saturday was a day full of colour and celebration for the community with hundreds of people joining in the fun.

Stone says things haven't been so bright, especially during her school years.

"School was a huge struggle. A lot of people are raised with homophobia and therefore take it out on others because they don't know better," said Stone.

Siever says OUTreach has worked to make sure children of the 2SLGBTQ+ community feel seen and understood.

"It's important the 2SLGBTQ+ community feel supported and feel like there is somewhere they can go where they feel safe to be themselves and not feel like they are alone," said Siever.

OUTreach offers many support groups and activities for all people of the community. More information about them can be found at www.outreachsa.org.

The website says the organization “supports and advocates for the local and broader two-spirit, lesbian, gay, bi, trans, and queer (2SLGBTQ+) communities of Lethbridge and surrounding areas. We do this through gender and sexuality education, peer supports, and community building through an anti-oppressive and social justice framework.”

Alexandra Noad, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Lethbridge Herald