Saskatoon's Pride Week kicks off with river cruise
The week-long, annual festival hosts more than 10 public events throughout the week
On Sunday afternoon, Saskatoon Pride 2014 began a week of celebration with a boat cruise event called 'Out On The River'. The cruise of Saskatoon's slice of the South Saskatchewan is the first of more than 10 events the city will host in this week.
Monday at noon Saskatoon's city hall will raise a rainbow flag to honour the celebration of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans-gender, transsexual, inter-sex, two-spirit and queer people.
Danny Papadatos, helped plan the event. He said having the pride flag raised at City Hall is an achievement for his community.
"Seeing where Saskatoon has come, it gives you a strong sense of pride to see that flag because, you know, there were people before who were so scared, they had to hide who they were," he said.
Papadatos grew up in Saskatoon and began telling people he's gay when he was 16. He acknowledges how difficult it can be for teens to be different and said he hopes the week-long festival inspires acceptance.
Papadatos also works with support groups in Saskatoon that are aimed at helping young people. He told CBC News that pride week is more than a big party, its an event aimed at public awareness and building a safer community.
"[It's] this great moment of people kind of dropping that guard down and realizing, 'hey you know what, just because I heard that it wasn't right 10 years ago, doesn't make that right,'" he said.
The pride festival will finish up with a pride parade through Saskatoon on Saturday, June 21 and a pool party the following day.