I offer a reminder, an invitation to grieve, and a call to action.
So, it's looking a lot like we're not getting a Halifax Pride Parade this year, or indeed any events organized by the Halifax Pride Society.
Update: on July 15, Halifax Pride announced via Insta that the Pride Parade is on. Our Pride Status article continues to be updated.
As of this writing the current state is: The Halifax Pride Society has been completely incommunicado for the last two months, neither facilities for the Festival nor police for the Parade have been booked, and no event organizers have any evidence that anything can happen. Wayves has published an article with the current state of Halifax Pride, which is updated any time there is any news; that link is below.
Here's your reminder
Do you remember, people, a year ago, or five, or ten or twenty, when we heard, we wailed: “Pride is too corporate! Pride is being led too much by the banks! Pride is too pinkwashed!”
Well, this year it isn’t.
So instead: this year is a beautiful collection of events:
- there were 96 during "Official Pride Month" of June;
- at the moment we have 160 scheduled in July, 108 of which are during the declared July 20-30 Pride Festival, including
- 32 events on July 22nd and 23rd alone.
These are events created, funded, and run by ordinary people, sports teams, activity groups, community organizations, small local businesses, a LOT by the Halifax Regional Library and... a blizzard of drag; drag every day, multiple times a day.
The fact that this could happen, has actually been enabled by the Pride Society itself; over the last few years, Halifax Pride has been giving dozens of organizations small amounts of money to create their own events, realize their own dreams, during the Pride Festival. We've been getting somewhat weaned off the Society's teat, and this year, we're on our own.
So whether or not Halifax Pride eventually does something, the rest of the community has filled in - in abundance.
This is the non-corporate Pride you asked for.
Yes, we have lost something
A bunch of things.
We’ve lost a big fun 11-day celebration with dozens of free events, most with particular attention to accessibility.
We've lost the Parade - an opportunity to dance in the street for a few hours, a particularly good day to come out of the closet to friends, family, co-workers and the clerk at the corner store.
With loss comes grief, with that comes sadness. So yeah - be sad. Is there something to be done? Hell yeah there is!
Local performers and community organizers have lost a hundred thousand dollars in performance fees, speaking fees, and community funding. Twice that hasn't gone to staff, summer students, and local contractors.
And, we’ve lost an organization that we’ve trusted to create this thing, keep us safe, and very often, do the heavy lifting of pushing back on transphobia and homophobia.
We organizers, we've planned events for Parade Day and other days during the Festival, and if those don't go ahead, that energy has been wasted, that time has been lost.
With loss comes grief, with that comes sadness. So yeah - be sad.
When you're ready, act.
Is there something to be done? Hell yeah there is! In fact, three things:
First, if you want next year to be different, engage with the Halifax Pride Society if and when they surface -- join the Society, go to meetings, be on the team, and help run Pride next year. We need community to steward this event or else we lose what 36+ years of Pride volunteers have worked to build.
Second, enjoy some of the 120 or so events (and a new one being added every couple hours) that the community has set up between now and the end of July. This is a do-it-yourself Pride. You, the attendee, have work to do. Other years you just showed up. This year you have work.
Your work is: visit the Events page (link below) and scroll through it, and pick out things that fit your interest and your schedule - and go! Yes, it's more work than just showing up on the parade route in your best queer livery and shouting HAPPY PRIDE for twenty minutes, but this is your part of a non-Corporate Pride. This is what you asked for.
Third, arrange transportation with friends to other Prides outside of Halifax. Help celebrate every town, everywhere, whose Pride did not crash'n'burn. The link to other Prides is below.
Our credo as Q folk is to survive and thrive in the face of adversity, and we're doing it: Pride is on! Your community created it. Your job is to enjoy it.
See you at Pride.