For the second year in a row, the Saskatoon Pride festival had to go mostly virtual. But despite the distance, organizers said the turnout was better than expected.
One global trans discussion brought in over 100 guests online.
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“We had trans activists from Argentina, the U.K., Brazil, Treaty 4 territory here in Canada, our moderator was based in Ottawa so it’s just incredible that you can connect like that,” said Saskatoon Pride volunteer Lauryn Kronick.
Saskatoon Pride said support has been pouring in online and from the community in various ways.
“Sometimes it can be something so simple as … just hanging your flag in your backyard or front yard, showing that you are supporting our movement and you’re here to celebrate alongside us,” said board secretary Claire Underhill.
Underhill said more businesses are asking how to be more inclusive.
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“Whether that be with someone who is trans, non-binary, creating safe spaces for people has definitely been at the forefront,” she said, adding some businesses are adopting gender-neutral bathrooms and making other changes.
“Something even as simple as putting their pronouns in their email signature, it’s a way that helps identify that you are an ally or that you want to see change happen within an organization,” she said.
Saskatoon Pride said with more virtual events, it has been able to reach more people. While it’s excited to go back to an in-person festival, it said it may continue having virtual options.
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“It’s just really important to think about folks that don’t necessarily feel safe going out to events, who can’t afford events, who have disabilities,” Kronick said.
A drive-in showing of Hairspray is Friday night at 8:30 p.m. The virtual Pride festival starts Saturday at 1 p.m., and the week wraps up with an online dance party that night.
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