Written by Ryan Charles Parker
Life gives us all mountains to climb. Obstacles that we would rather not have to traverse. Most of these simply come with the territory when you are born in this world.
But some of these mountains are man-made. Difficulties that are completely unnecessary. Barricades put up when they don’t have or need to be.
Members of the LGBTQ community face troubles of the second kind. Some of them are prejudiced against. Others cannot even be prejudiced against because no one knows their situation. They suffer in silence.
As Central Alberta Pride Society volunteer coordinator Kareen Lambert says, “acceptance is the biggest challenge.”
The Central Alberta Pride Society is an advocacy organization for those in the LGBTQ community. It is a voice which speaks for those who may not be able to do so.
“The goal of the organization is to celebrate LGBTQ people,” Lambert states. “To create community, and advocate for one another.”
Largely funded by sponsorship, the Central Alberta Pride Society is completely run by volunteers. They host advocacy and education events throughout the year. As mentioned, they work on behalf of those who may not be able to do so for themselves.
But as hard as the climb for LGBTQ community has been up their unnecessary, societally-constructed mountain, there comes a time to turn around to the valley from which they started to appreciate the beauty of the view. A time to celebrate successes. A moment to pat themselves on the back for the courage it took to get to where they are now.
“We’ve seen a lot of progression,” Lambert points out. “We’ve seen a lot of progression in attitudes.”
“It’s definitely better than it was 50 years ago.”
This celebration of identity culminates in Pride Week, a multination celebration of members of the LGBTQ community. A festival of inclusion that is so deeply deserved and rightfully appreciated.
It is a time to celebrate community. A time to appreciate each other. A time for acknowledgement of the wonderful contributions the LBGTQ has given us. A time for us to honour each other, regardless of sexual identity. And the place for this is Red Deer, from August 10th to 18th.
But this celebration requires many volunteers. As mentioned, the Central Alberta Pride Society is completely volunteer-run organization. Pride Week requires help, so if you are looking to make a positive difference in our city, this is the perfect opportunity for you. Your sexual identity does not matter, because although this is an event primarily for the LBGTQ population, we can all celebrate with them in solidarity, and with no conditions.
Here are a few links for information on how to get involved with Pride Week or just to support the Central Alberta Pride Society in whatever way you can. Every contribution, no matter how small, helps.
Events Information: http://centralalbertapride.ca/events/
Pride Week shift sign-up: https://signup.com/go/yxjYWGV