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Pride 2024 flag-raising ceremony at Fort Frances Civic Centre, May 31, 2024. Image: Randy Thoms/Acadia Broadcasting

Pride Month kicks off in Fort Frances

By Randy Thoms May 31, 2024 | 5:10 PM

June is Pride Month.

It was kicked off in Fort Frances with a flag-raising ceremony at the Civic Centre on Friday

Borderland Pride’s co-chair, Doug Judson, says the month is about promoting equity, diversity, and inclusion for the 2SLGBTQIA+ community and a sense of belonging for everyone in the region.

He notes the celebrations come at a time when 2SLGBTQIA+ rights continue to come under attack.

“I think that one of the ways we fight back against that is through positivity and through trying to engage allies and show that people who hold those views are outnumbered and to engage allies and also spread a message that helps people understand what is so problematic about some of the policy choices that we’re seeing popping up in different parts of the country right now,” says Judson.

Pride organizations are also uniting to show strong support for the trans community, gender-diverse people and members of the drag community who have been specific targets.

“When we do drag events, we have people in this community who’ve been here the whole time who are now either emboldened or have changed their mind or are putting out these really repugnant comments suggesting that there is child luring or predation going on at these events, which is just not true.”

Judson says it shows that there is more work to do.

Borderland Pride does have its allies.

Organizations like the United Native Friendships Centre, Grand Council Treaty 3 and the Fort Frances Library and Technology Centre and businesses such as Curvy Chick are hosting events.

“It’s really inspiring. I think that what is wonderful is the work of organizing Pride has gone down because every year in April and May, people start contacting us now and saying, hey, we’re looking at doing our event on this date.┬áIs that okay? Or can you help us promote it, or whatever the case may be?”

The annual walk across the border also returns.

It will take place on June 15, starting at Smoky Bear Park in International Falls and ending at Rainy Lake Square for a barbeque.

A full list of events can be found here.

Pride 2024 flag-raising ceremony at Fort Frances Civic Centre, May 31, 2024. Image: Randy Thoms/Acadia Broadcasting