St John’s is known for its colourful, jellybean row houses. This month, the rainbow shades of Pride flags have made the Newfoundland city even flashier.
The city’s Pride events, running from July 16 to 22, include a pirate- and fairy-themed bonfire at Middle Cove Beach, youth bowling, Pride dances, a variety show and a parade along Water St.
“St John's Pride, and Pride all over the world, is important for the queer community as it allows us the opportunity to rally together and show support to everyone involved,” says Robyn Noseworthy, public relations officer and board member of St John’s Pride. “It is a time of reflection, celebration and education which involves the entire community, and it truly reveals itself as a time where we can be as free as possible to express ourselves without the scrutiny and discrimination that unfortunately sometimes we see all too much.”
Because there are a growing number of queer community members in St John’s, this year’s Pride slogan is You Are Not Alone. Noseworthy says Pride is proudly helping carve out safe spaces in the City of Legends.
“I think it speaks volumes to the public, as many of us go through such difficult times in the coming-out process, and the reintegration into society while our full selves take flight,” says Noseworthy. “As we all know, sometimes this journey can be quite painful and difficult to overcome, and it is crucial to know that there is always someone there to listen and to offer support, no matter what issues it is that one is facing. “
St John’s Pride has been around since the 1970s, and this year’s festivities will fuse both Newfoundland culture and queer celebrations.
“We have numerous people, approximately 100, maybe more, coming down from the mainland to help celebrate,” Noseworthy says. “These groups are coming out of Montreal and Toronto, where there is, of course, a larger population of LBGTQ people, so it's going to be really refreshing to not only show our LBGTQ pride, but also the Newfoundland pride that we are all so famous for.”