Raising the Rainbow Flag
From left, South Simcoe Police Constable Kostiuk, Fierte Simcoe Pride's Martine Morris, Mayor Rob Keffer, Councillors Gary Baynes and Mark Contois, PC Ian Fenik and Brandon Amyot with the Rainbow and Trans flags in Bradford, Ont. on Thursday August 3, 2017. Miriam King/Bradford Times/Postmedia Network
The rainbow flag, representing “gender and sexual diversity,” was raised at the Bradford courthouse on August 3 to mark the 6th annual Fierté Simcoe Pride festival.
For 6 years, Fierté Simcoe Pride has been held to support the LGBT community and raise both awareness and acceptance in Simcoe County – but this is the first year, said Brandon Amyot, president, that “all 22 communities in Simcoe are participating, including 19 flag-raisings.”
The theme for 2017 is “Create”, representing a response to the rising tide of anti-LGBTQ legislation in some States and countries around the world. The theme encourages communities to leave the rhetoric and discussions, and “to move forward with action,” Amyot said at the flag-raising. “Words are great, but action has power,” to create “a safer and more inclusive community.”
He was joined at the flag-raising by BWG Mayor Rob Keffer and Councillors Mark Contois and Gary Baynes, reading a Proclamation recognizing July 31 to August 13 as Fierté Simcoe Pride week, promoting tolerance, awareness, engagement and safer communities. The Transgendered flag was also on display.
The flag-raising launched the Festival, which included a Candlelight Vigil in Bradford on Wednesday night – and will include a Trans Pride March at Veteran's Memorial Park in Orillia, 5:30 p.m. on Aug. 10, an Arts and Culture Night in Collingwood on Aug. 11, and the LGBT Awards Gala at the Georgian Bay Native Friendship Centre in Midland on August 12. For more information, see www.fiertesimcoepride.com.