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Highlight of P.E.I. Pride is an appearance by celebrity drag queen Ginger Minj

Justeann Hansen, left, and Lora Serres were two of the participants in the annual Pride parade through the streets of Charlottetown last year. Pride P.E.I. is getting set for another week of celebrations, which kick off on Saturday.
Justeann Hansen, left, and Lora Serres were two of the participants in the annual Pride parade through the streets of Charlottetown last year. Pride P.E.I. is getting set for another week of celebrations, which kick off on Saturday. - -File photo

Drag has hit the mainstream at this year’s P.E.I. Pride Week.

Drag queen trivia, local drag queen parade marshals, and a celebrity drag queen performer are just some of the things to expect during P.E.I. Pride Week from July 22-28.

“Drag is a highlight of our events this year and it’s something that I think needs to have more of a focus on because it has such an important role in our (LGBTQ2S+) community in bigger cities and I think it would have a positive effect here also,” said Pride P.E.I. communications director Mitchell MacLean.

When MacLean joined the Pride P.E.I. board of directors in September, his goal was to make drag a more visible art on the Island.

One of his primary goals was to have an alumnus from the Emmy-winning reality television show “RuPaul’s Drag Race” come to P.E.I within the next two years.

Ginger Minj from “RuPaul’s Drag Race” will headline the Pride dance on July 28 at the Delta Prince Edward.
Ginger Minj from “RuPaul’s Drag Race” will headline the Pride dance on July 28 at the Delta Prince Edward.

The goal is being realized with season seven’s Ginger Minj headlining the Pride dance on July 28 at the Delta Prince Edward.

The event is in collaboration with Club Couture, a Halifax-based company that conducts tours throughout the Maritimes.

“It’s amazing,” said MacLean. “I honestly didn’t think we were going to get someone because I had reached out to several management of popular drag race alumni and they were pretty booked.”

Holding pride events in the community is especially important on P.E.I. because there is often a negative presence on social media towards the LGBTQ2S+ community, said MacLean.

“That dialogue is definitely present here and I’ve noticed it especially in events that are in relation to drag,” he said. “It is important and will be important until that dialogue doesn’t happen anymore.”

There are many events in place for Pride Week. New this year are two drag queen trivia nights where local drag queens will host. Also new this year are the PrideTalks events.

The first talk is hosted by Michelle David from Tweed Inc. to discuss cannabis legalization on July 23. The second is about the evolution of LGBTQ2S+ rights as illustrated by the Supreme Court of Canada hosted by Trinity Western University on July 25.

One of Pride Week’s main attractions is the parade, which is on July 28 starting on Terry Fox Drive and ending at Rochford Square.

Last year’s parade had 160 registered entries.

“Last year was out biggest parade yet in terms of participation and people who are watching and it just gets bigger every year,” he said.

There is no cost to register for the parade. This year’s parade marshals are Island drag queens Demona Deville and Whatshername.

Some of the events do have a cost. They vary and can be found on the Pride P.E.I. website Pride Week events page at https://www.pridepei.com/events.html .

Looking forward, MacLean hopes to bring more “Drag Race” alumni to the Island.

“Next year we’re hoping to expand upon it— hopefully have more locally focused events where we can book somebody and have them perform with local queens here,” he said.

RELATED: Charlottetown city hall shows support for Pride Week


The following is a list of events taking place for P.E.I. Pride Week 2018:

Pride Church Service — Sunday, July 22, at 10:30 a.m.

Upstreet Pride Beer Launch — Sunday, July 22, at noon.

Kick Off BBQ with Sean Casey — Sunday, July 22, from 2-4 p.m.

Drag Queen Trivia - Pride Edition — Monday, July 23, from 8-10 p.m.

PrideTalks! With Tweed — Tuesday, July 24, from 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m.

Dial M for Murder - Pride Evening — Tuesday, July 24.

PrideTalks! Trinity Western University — Wednesday, July 25, from 4:30-6 p.m.

Queer Clothing Exchange — Wednesday, July 25, from 3-6 p.m.

Drag Queen Trivia - Pride Edition — Wednesday, July 25, from 8-10 p.m.

Pride Kitchen Party! — Wednesday, July 25, 7 pm.

Pride Yoga — Thursday, July 26.

PEERS Alliance OUTspoken Poetry Slam! — Thursday, July 26, 7-9 p.m.

Pride After Dark - Summerside Finale — Friday, July 27, from 10 p.m.-2 a.m.

Pride Parade and Pride in the Park — Saturday, July 28, at 1 p.m.

clubCOUTURE En Blanc Ft. Ginger Minj — Saturday, July 28. Meet and greet at 9 p.m.; doors open at 9:45 p.m.; show starts at 10:45 p.m.

Source: Pridepei.com

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