It was certainly a different year for Pride celebrations in Atlantic Canada and around the world.
The global pandemic forced some celebrations to go virtual or to be socially distanced at the very least. Meanwhile, other Pride marches and rallies focused on solidarity with Black Lives Matter protests and ensuring Black and Indigenous members of the LGBTQ2S+ community received recognition.
The challenges did little to stop Pride Week activities from happening from Nova Scotia to Prince Edward Island to Newfoundland and Labrador.
SaltWire journalists were also there to capture the celebrations.
Here's a sampling of Pride events across the East Coast.
We also highlighted some rainbow recipes to mark Pride Week, but that doesn't mean you can't make these all year long.
Colin Druhan, executive director of executive director of Pride at Work Canada, co-hosted the Queering the Future of Work online panel discussion at this year's Halifax Pride Festival.
Mainland Nova Scotia
Highlighting global challenges
Moderated by Dartmouth-based activist Kim Vance-Mubanga, an online Halifax Pride panel featured international speakers Vivianne Vergueriro Simakawa in Brazil, Tina Kolos Orbán in Hungary, Georges Azzi in Lebanon and Steve Letsike in South Africa.
“People sometimes see some regions from afar and they think, ‘OK, everything is fine,’ but it’s not like that many times, especially for LGBTIQ communities,” said Vergueriro Simakawa.
'We are here together, awake'
A couple hundred people gathered in downtown Halifax during Pride Week to elevate, celebrate and mourn the loss of queer and trans Black, Indigenous and other people of colour.
Hosted as part of a series of Halifax Pride 2020 events, the march calling for an end to systemic racism and police brutality kicked off at Victoria Park, against the backdrop of the Black Lives Matter movement.
As production manager for Halifax Pride Festival 2020, Cat MacKeigan described a big part of her job as “making a whole bunch of computers talk to each other, and then talk to the internet.”
To cut any tension related to an incorrect reference to "she," her proper pronoun, she devised a clever take on the "swear jar" concept and had co-workers donate to a local animal shelter whenever the incorrect pronoun was mistakenly used.
Confidence and support
Wesley Colford, artistic director of the Highland Arts Theatre, came out as gender fluid non-binary during the Nova Scotia government's stay at home orders. They said the support they've gotten from the community, the theatre regulars and their partner has made the end of their journey to finding their identity a positive experience. Check out parts one and two of their story.
Search for belonging
Tuma Young, a two-spirit male lawyer, has spent his entire life fighting for space.
Young has no preferred pronoun but the closest thing is nekem, which translates in English to “that person.” Two-spirit is an Indigenous person that imbues both masculine and feminine spirits.
Pride Eskasoni is working diligently to educate people about the roots of Two Spirit people in Mi’kmaq culture because colonization ripped people away from that history.
“Today a lot of people don’t know that this is a part of our culture because of residential schools and the church system,” said Bertram Bernard Jr., chief operating officer at Pride Eskasoni.
What Pride means to Kate Krug
Kate Krug is a queer activist and an assistant professor of sociology and anthropology at Cape Breton University in Sydney, practicing interpretive political sociology with a focus on genders, identities, sexualities, queer theory and critical pedagogy.
Newfoundland and Labrador
Socially distant walk
As they turned the corner onto Water Street from Adelaide Street carrying Pride flags, the small group who gathered for the St. John’s Pride socially distant walk, were met with cheering and clapping from the people on the patios on both sides of the street.
It was a short walk from St. John’s City Hall to The Grapevine and The Rose, and there were many fewer participants than previous years, but the socially distant substitute for the Pride parade was no less important for MP Seamus O’Regan.
“I find I get more and more sentimental every year that we do this,” O’Regan said. “The older I get the more I appreciate how beautiful this is and how inclusive it’s become.”
Coloured footlights shine pride colours on the night-time exterior of Confederation Building in St. John's. The lit-up trees on the legislature's grounds are one of the local, public indications of support for, and focus on, Pride Week, which runs through this coming weekend.
Members of the St. John’s Pride board of directors stood in the middle of the Water Street pedestrian mall handing out chocolates, sunglasses, whistles, rainbow-coloured wrist bands and taking pictures with the passersby during Pride Week.
Greg Noseworthy is a member of the board of directors and said the scheduled meet-and-greet was their first opportunity for the board to reach out to the community.
“We had planned to have more community engagement and community outreach throughout the year, but we were unable to do that,” Noseworthy said.
Coming out in China
After coming out to her parents, her dad told her he didn’t care if she was gay or not, even though he didn’t understand or agree.
It’s a story Wen shared as a panellist during one of the Pride P.E.I. week events.
Fighting discrimination head on
Jim Culbert has been fighting for gay rights since moving to P.E.I. in 1988. He proudly flies the rainbow flag and has made flags for various businesses across the province.
Paddling for Pride
Four years ago, Donna Glass raised the first Pride flag in Morell.
This year, her business, Kingfisher Outdoors Inc., hosted the community’s first Pride event, the Pride Paddle. Offering discounted kayak rentals, Glass hoped to make a rainbow on the river.