Steinbach to hold its first-ever Pride Parade in July
'I think it has the potential to be big,’ says organizer Michelle McHale
Steinbach, Man. will hold its first-ever Pride Parade this summer and so far support for the event has been "massive" says organizer, Michelle McHale.
"This initiative is not about having anything in anybody's face, this is a celebration of human rights," said McHale.
"I think it has the potential to be big."
Steinbach, a traditionally conservative community, made headlines in 2013 when its city council asked the province to review Bill 18, known as the anti-bullying bill. The legislation requires schools to accommodate students who want to start specific anti-bullying clubs, including gay-straight alliances.
Bill 18 passed the Manitoba legislature and became law in 2013.
McHale is expecting protestors at Steinbach's first Pride Parade but she said she believes any opposition groups that show up will be respectful.
"Some of Steinbach is absolutely ready [for a Pride Parade] and has been ready for a long time. There are other folks who I think are on the fence and hopefully we can provide enough information to show them that it's not anything to be scared about," she said.
"We're just people."
McHale is a vocal advocate for LGBT equality in the area. Earlier this year, she publicly requested the Hanover School Division reverse a ban on discussing same-sex families in the classroom after her son was bullied for having two moms.
McHale said during July's parade it's important for marchers to send the message "it's okay to be visible … who you are is nothing to be ashamed of."
The Steinbach Pride Parade takes place Saturday, July 9 at 11 a.m at Steinbach United Church and ends at Steinbach City Hall.