Nfld. & Labrador

Nain marks a milestone with its first Pride walk

For community health worker Craig Wyatt, organizing the Labrador community's first-ever Pride walk wasn't just his job — it was personal.

'It's something that should have been happening every year,' says organizer

The northern Labrador community of Nain marked its first-ever Pride event on July 7, attracting about 40 participants. (Submitted by Jenny Oliver)

For Craig Wyatt, organizing Nain's first-ever Pride walk wasn't just his job — it was personal.

LGBT-themed events were uncommon when he was growing up gay in the northern Labrador settlement, said Wyatt, a community health worker with the Nunatsiavut government's Department of Health and Social Development.

"Back then, for me, it would have meant a lot," he said. "If I were younger and I attended stuff like this, it would have made coming out a lot easier."

Some 40 attendees turned out for last Wednesday's milestone event, which Wyatt said was long overdue.

"[Pride] is something that needs to be put into place," he told Labrador Morning on Friday. "It's something that should have been happening every year." 

Having just taken up a role with the department in June, Wyatt was determined to get Nain's first Pride event underway.

"I went and I took it over," he said.

Participants march through Nain as part of the town's first-ever pride event. (Nunatsiavut government)

Preparations took about a week. To encourage as much participation as possible, participants were challenged to create a Pride-themed craft, bake rainbow-coloured desserts, or decorate their home in Pride colours. Those who fulfilled two of the three challenges were entered into a prize draw.

Wyatt said the response was overwhelming.

"It gave me chills," he said. "It was so good to see the people so happy that something had been put into place. It was so nice to see."

The broader community response, Wyatt said, was also encouraging. 

"I came into the office and I had someone say to me that it's nice to see there was a Pride walk put into place," he said.

Today, Wyatt can attest to the healing power of Pride. He's happy the door is now open so that future generations can feel supported as they come to terms with their sexuality.

"It would mean a lot to those who don't feel comfortable coming out or those who feel like they don't have support."

In a statement, Labrador MP Yvonne Jones said Pride Week is an important time for the LGBT community.

"It presents a time of reflection on the struggles and challenges faced by those past and present who fight for equality for all," reads the statement.

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

Corrections

  • A previous version of this story erroneously identified the organizer of the march as Craig Wallace.
    Jul 19, 2021 6:05 PM NT

With files from Labrador Morning

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