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'Pride Week' events announced

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Borderland Pride announced yesterday the full roster of events for “Pride Week 2018,” which will be held in Fort Frances and International Falls from July 9-15.

“Today is a big day for Borderland's LGBTQ2A community and LGBTQ2A people who call this place their home,” said Douglas Judson, co-chair of Borderland Pride.

“It's a turning point for local LGBTQ2 acceptance,” he noted.

Borderland Pride's inaugural “Pride Week" marks the first time the community as a whole is being asked to sport its "true colours” and showcase its support for LGBTQ2 diversity and inclusion.

“The goal this year is visibility," Judson said. "We want to show that there is widespread community support here for LGBTQ2 young people and queer families, and to give area residents and organizations an opportunity to demonstrate that they stand with us as allies.”

“Pride Week 2018" will open with a screening and discussion of the award-winning film "Fire Song,” which tells the story of a gay Anishinaabe youth in Northern Ontario, on Wednesday, July 11.

Then “Fort Fabulous Friday,” a reception featuring appearances by drag stars Prairie Sky, Pharaoh Moans, and Cake (Prairie Sky has ties to Couchiching First Nation), will be held on Friday, July 13.

The “Passport to Pride” march and flag ceremony, one of the first Pride marches to cross an international border, is set for Saturday, July 14.

It will be followed by the “Community BBQueer,” a free community lunch featuring performances by local talent at the new Rainy Lake Square.

Events on Sunday, July 15 include a community church service on the themes of LGBTQ2 Pride, inclusion, and diversity and a “Drag Queen Story Hour,” featuring one of our visiting queens at a local library.

“Pride Week" will conclude with a family movie night, showing "Love, Simon,” a touching story for the GSA-era.

The full listing of events is available on Borderland Pride's website (www.borderlandpride.org) and Facebook page (facebook.com/BorderlandPride).

“Many people see footage on TV of very ostentatious Pride parades and celebrations in larger cities, but they should know that the Pride event you'll see in a smaller community looks like any other family-oriented festival, fair, or picnic,” Judson stressed.

“Our 'Pride Week' events are all free to attend and open to all ages,” he added.

“There are numerous ways for local organizations to get in on the spirit.”

In related news, Borderland Pride's “Pride Mart" will open this week at Curvy Chick in Fort Frances, where area residents can purchase official Borderland Pride T-shirts and other swag items in advance of "Pride Week.”

As well, Borderland Pride's “Metal Petals” will be for sale during Mall Days on June 28 for those looking to support local Pride initiatives.

All downtown businesses in Fort Frances and International Falls also were given a rainbow Pride flag in May and asked to display it or decorate their storefronts during “Pride Week.”

“In small towns, we support the businesses and organizations who support the things we care about,” Judson said.

"We applaud those who fly our flag, and we would like to give a huge thank you to the organizations which have offered other support and assistance with this project.

“Their enthusiasm has helped drive and inspire the planning process,” he noted.

Borderland Pride's current sponsors and in-kind contributors include the TD Bank, the Northwestern Health Unit, the United Native Friendship Centre, ETFO Rainy River OT Local, Canada Safeway, Cornell Farms, the Thread Shed, InkSpotz Apparel, and Betty's.

Individuals or organizations interested in sponsoring or helping out during “Pride Week” can contact Borderland Pride at borderlandpride@gmail.com or by calling 1-807-861-3684.

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