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Borderland Pride launches 2020 campaign

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In the run-up to Pride festivities, Borderland Pride has launched its “Pride Lives Here!” campaign, with the generous support of TD Bank’s Connected Communities fund.

Due to COVID-19, and social distancing, Pride will look different this year. Through this campaign, Borderland Pride and TD are encouraging all area residents to showcase their sense of Pride and inclusion through window displays, lawn decor, social media content, and other creative rainbow displays throughout the month of June, which is recognized internationally as Pride Month. Residents are asked to share photos of their homes, families, or staff celebrating Pride. Photos can be emailed to borderlandpride@gmail.com.

Although traditional Pride events are on hold, Pride is more important than ever, according to organizers.

“Pride is most needed where it is least visible, and demonstrating that everyone is welcome to live, work, learn, and thrive in our communities takes on a new meaning at times when we cannot come together in common cause. We think especially of those who are isolated with unsupportive families or caregivers, without access to allies or other sources of support. This is for them,” said Douglas Judson, Co-Chair, Borderland Pride.

TD Bank and its local staff in Fort Frances have been closely involved in Borderland Pride’s events since the organization was founded in 2017.

Through the Connected Communities program, TD supports efforts that boost belonging, and empower people to participate in their community.

“TD Bank is proud to support the LGBTQ2+ communities of the Rainy River District, and we are proud to provide support to Borderland Pride to help spread the message that Pride celebrations live on in our communities even in a pandemic,” said Michael Antonietti, Manager, Fort Frances Branch, TD Bank. “We invite all of the residents of the Rainy River District to join us in raising a rainbow flag and showing support for diversity and inclusion across the region.”

To help residents get into the spirit, special “Pride Lives Here!” campaign signs are available for homes and businesses. The lawn signs are available by donation, for contactless pickup in the driveway at 700 Victoria Avenue in Fort Frances, where a secure donation box is available ($5 is suggested, but there is no requirement to contribute). Sign pick-up spots will be announced for Emo and other communities soon.

Please watch the Borderland Pride Facebook page for more information.

Organizers have been heartened by the enthusiasm communities and businesses have shown the group.

“This campaign has taken on renewed meaning in the face of a recent setback in our efforts to promote LGBTQ2 diversity and inclusion across the Rainy River District,” said Peter Howie, Co-chair, Borderland Pride. “Following a disappointing decision by Emo town council last Tuesday, we have heard from numerous local residents and businesses, asking how they could show their support for Pride. The silver lining of these dark moments has been care and energy from allies across the region, and the desire to visibly signal their values. That enthusiasm is something our community can be proud of.”

Requests for Pride Month resolutions have been distributed to all area municipal councils. So far in 2020, the Town of Fort Frances has proclaimed June as Pride Month.

Borderland Pride has received support resolutions in previous years from several municipalities, including Fort Frances, International Falls, Morley, and Rainy River.

Pride 2020 will be observed under the constraints of social distancing.

Further safe celebrations will be announced in the weeks ahead, and posted on the Borderland Pride Facebook page.

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