It's been a wild year for the Springdale students who battled controversy and pushed their town to host its first Pride Week, and this weekend they celebrated their accomplishments at the annual St. John's Pride Parade.
The students from Indian River High School's Gender-Sexuality Alliance arrived at city hall in style on Sunday, stepping out of a limousine and taking their place front and centre as grand marshals of the parade.
Many of them were dressed for the occasion, too, donning shirts with a rainbow crosswalk on them that proclaimed "Springdale is for Lovers" along with special rainbow eyeshadow.
"It's really amazing. I actually can't believe we're here. Something so small, in our small town, it got us all here leading the parade," said Maria Lawlor.
"It's nice to know that we've been recognized for something so important for us," added Megan Paddock.
Check out some of the other faces in the crowd at the parade below.
Cheyenne Edmunds-Cull, a 13-year-old from Goulds who identifies as gay, says "Pride means being able to accept and love who you are, being able to be proud of your identity, and being able to just accept yourself as human." She held a sign that advocated for trans pride, pansexual pride, bi pride, and asexual pride. (Andrew Sampson/CBC) Many different groups walked in the parade this year, including these students who walked to remind marchers to "Keep Pride Political." Bailey Howard (blue hoodie) says the group wanted to offer a safe space for members of the LGBTQ community to march, even if they didn't agree with including police officers in the parade. (Andrew Sampson/CBC) Friends of Kayla Cuff, a member of the LGBTQ community who died in March, pose for a selfie before walking the parade in her honour. (Andrew Sampson/CBC) Here's a good boy, looking forward to walking the parade route. (Andrew Sampson/CBC) From left to right, members of burlesque group Island Belles: Cherry Cannons, Lolita Lawless, Double Delight, and friend Nevaeh Carew get ready to march in the parade. (Andrew Sampson/CBC) Gemma Hickey, a transgender activist who made history by being the first person in the province to get a gender-neutral birth certificate, holds the trans flag and rides through the parade. (Andrew Sampson/CBC) Marchers from the St. John's Native Friendship Centre show their support. (Andrew Sampson/CBC) Two men walk hand in hand in the parade. (Andrew Sampson/CBC) Just some of the bi's. (Andrew Sampson/CBC) Marchers make their way through the parade. (Andrew Sampson/CBC) A queen at the parade. (Andrew Sampson/CBC)