Still 'work to be done' when it comes to LGBT acceptance in Saskatoon

Saskatoon Pride Festival organizer Danny Papadatos says there still is work to do when it comes to LGBT acceptance in the province.

LGBT people still face challenges in bridge city

Danny Papadatos is the co-char of the Saskatoon Pride Festival. (Madeline Kotzer/CBC News)

Even in an era of increasing acceptance for LGBT people, Saskatoon Pride co-chair Danny Papadatos says the city's pride festival still serves an important role.

"As prominent as our community is now and as progressive as we like to believe Saskatchewan is becoming, there is still a ton of work to do to make people feel safe," said Papadatos.

Thinking back to the first pride events he attended as a teenager, Papadatos said he would go in drag to obscure his identity.

"[I was] just in fear that my family or somebody that knew me or my family would see me, so that's when I started putting makeup and dresses on," said Papadatos.

"To look at where we are now and where I am as a person now, to have this opportunity to be one of the guys raising the [pride] flag and to be on the forefront, I'm very honoured."

But even with the change in attitudes Papadatos has seen in his own lifetime, he said LGBT people still encounter many challenges in the province, especially in rural areas.

"There is still extreme homophobia in Saskatchewan. There [are] still people getting bullied or beaten or teased. It still happens everyday," he said.

"There is tons of work to be done." 

With files from CBC Radio's Saskatoon Morning