Why Pride P.E.I. wants Islanders to show their colours on Sunday

The chair of Pride P.E.I. says he hopes Islanders will mark International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia by displaying a rainbow in whatever form they can.

LBGTQ group wants to keep momentum from 2019 going despite COVID-19

John Kimmel, chair of Pride P.E.I., says he hopes Islanders will display rainbows in whatever way they can on Sunday. (Eduardo Lima/Canadian Press)

Pride P.E.I. is inviting Islanders to show their colours on Sunday.

May 17, International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, is an important day in the LBGTQ community because it marks 30 years since the World Health Organization declassified homosexuality as a mental disorder. 

John Kimmel, chair of Pride P.E.I., said he hopes Islanders will mark the day by looking at the rainbow, a symbol of pride, as "the hope after the turbulence and the storm and in light of what might come over the next few decades."

"We're asking people to show us their colours in whatever way they can, whether that's baking a rainbow cake, hanging a flag, doing a chalk drawing with their kids at the end of their driveway, sharing it with us on social media and being sure to tag Pride P.E.I."

Kimmel said the day was to be the start of a big year for Pride P.E.I. before the COVID-19 pandemic struck.

The 2019 pride parade was the largest yet for P.E.I., Kimmel said. (Greg Guy/CBC)

There were high expectations for the annual pride parade, which saw its largest numbers yet in 2019, Kimmel said. Not wanting to lose that momentum, he said Pride P.E.I. is looking at ways to celebrate Pride Week July 26-Aug. 2 under the new public health restrictions.

That could mean taking the whole event online, or a "hybrid" of live and virtual events depending on the restrictions at the time. Pride P.E.I. expects to have more details at the end of the month.

The pride parade, scheduled for Aug. 1, will no doubt have a different look, but that doesn't mean it can't live on in some form, Kimmel said.

"I for one would love to see everyone across P.E.I. out wearing their brightest colours and their coolest shades and whatever they feel is representative of their true self … dancing in the streets, in their backyards and their front lawns within their sort of social bubbles with their friends and with their communities."

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