Thousands celebrate Victoria's 26th annual pride parade
CTV Vancouver Island
Published Sunday, July 7, 2019 4:49PM PDT
Last Updated Sunday, July 7, 2019 6:27PM PDT
Throngs of people took to the streets of Victoria on Sunday to celebrate the city's 26th annual pride parade.
Bursting with colour and noise, the march made its way from downtown to James Bay, where the 25th annual pride festival was held in MacDonald Park.
Victoria Pride is an event that has grown and changed significantly over the years, said Mayor Lisa Helps.
"Pride over the years has turned into a family event," Helps said. "People come by and watch the colours go by … It's a great community event, and it's a great family event, which is something I feel really proud of."
One of the families celebrating pride this year was that of a 13-year-old transgender man named Morgan, whose mother held a sign saying "I love my trans son."
"What I notice the most is it's the one day a year that Morgan can come out and be himself," his mother said. "That's huge for somebody his age."
Morgan, who did not give his last name, said he feels much more comfortable since he started presenting as a man in public over the last year.
"I love it a lot," Morgan said of the pride parade. "In other places, people like me aren't very accepted, so I think that I'm very lucky to be in a place where I'm accepted for who I am."
For other attendees, pride was a part of their job, albeit one they enjoy.
Federal Green Party leader Elizabeth May said she doesn't think of the summer months when Parliament is not in session as "barbecue season" anymore.
"I think these days it's pride parade all summer," May said.
Victoria Pride is the second of six May will be attending this summer. She was at Toronto pride last month and will be marching in Halifax, Vancouver, Montreal, and Salt Spring Island events over the next two months.
She said it's important to celebrate pride as an indication of the progress that has been made -- and is still ongoing -- in Canadian society.
"I think it's a really healthy thing in our society," May said. "We've moved from tolerance, to inclusion, to celebration of inclusion. It's not that there isn't progress that remains to be made, but I find pride parades across Canada bring out the very best in community."