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Pride Awakens next month

By Randy Thoms May 18, 2023 | 2:02 PM

Borderland Pride is bringing its celebration of Pride Month.

A full month of events and activities is planned for June.

This year’s slogan is Pride Awakens.

Co-chair Doug Judson says it has a couple of meanings, including being able to hold events and activities after being curtailed because of the pandemic.

“That’s part of it. It’s also that we want to awaken allyship and remind people that these are really important values for the community to celebrate. And I think there’s a little bit of a tongue-in-cheek reference there to the anti-woke rhetoric that we’re hearing mostly across the border, but starting to seep into Canada,” says Judson.

Events confirmed have Pride Month kicking off with a Sunday service at Knox United Church on June 4 at 10 a.m.

The United Native Friendship Centre will hold a Pride button and banner making event on June 6 from 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

On June 7, there is a Pride parent panel with parents of young people of the local 2SLGBTQIA+ community. That event is at UNFC from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

The UNFC also hosts an open mic event at Rainy Lake Square on June 8 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Curvy Chick will hold Samson Busch Art Sip and Shop on June 9 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Saturday, June 10, will see the return of the Passport to Pride march, with participants crossing the border from International Falls to Fort Frances.

“Yes, it’s almost gimmicky, but people really enjoy it. I think there’s some symbolism to the unity of the movement that we’re able to have this event that’s shared between two countries, two neighbouring communities. We’re really excited that we have an open border again, where we’re able to have people take part from both International Falls and the Fort Frances area. We’re really proud to have the assistance of the International Falls Rotary Club on the US. Side for that this year,” says Judson.

Participants will assemble at Smokey Bear Park at 11 a.m. before crossing the border.

That night will be the Splash! Drag Show at the Memorial Sports Centre’s auditorium at 7:30 p.m. The event is a fundraiser for the splash park in Fort Frances.

The next day, the Fort Frances Museum will host the drag performers for a Drag Story Time at 11 a.m.

“There’s lots on the calendar and more coming in, so I encourage people to continue to watch Borderland Pride’s social media and website because there will be regular updates with new events and details being put out there for the public. And we hope to have a great turnout at everything we have planned.”

All events are open to anyone of any age.

“I think it’s important that we showcase Pride as having something for everyone, whether that’s their identity, their ability, their personal interest, or the type of support they need dealing with a sexual orientation, gender identity or expression issue in their own lives. So the range of events we’ve offered is from educational to advocacy-oriented to information sharing to artistic expression. We hope that there’s sort of a piece for everyone there, regardless of who they are, and what part they play in the community. We want everyone to be able to see that this is a public event, this is a community occasion for everyone to take part in, and there’s something for everyone.


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