2019 is a very important year for Pride organizations worldwide. 50 years ago on June 28th, riots and the Stonewall Inn in New York City, as well as the decriminalization of homosexuality in Canada the day before, sparked the beginning of a revolution. 50 years later we are still marching in the streets, not only to commemorate those beginnings, but to continue to fight for human rights for LGBTQ folks around the world.
This year we will be celebrating the efforts of Alisa Ebenal, an ally in Aldergrove who put a Pride flag out in front of her home to support some friends of hers who live next door. Sadly her flag was stolen a number of times, but her story inspired many others to put out flags to show their own support. We at Pflag asked Alisa to join us as our guest this year in the parade, and we are honoured to have her with us. Her continuing story is here:
We are the 11th entry in the 2019 Vancouver Pride parade, which is a coveted spot; no one likes to be near the end of the festivities, and we are honoured to be positioned near the front this year. This does mean an earlier start to the day than other parade participants, and it will be important for those marching to be in place at the right time.
We are in Section A, the 11th entry on the north side. That means our position in the parade will be 'AN10', (numbering starts at zero). While our vehicle will be in place in Section A by about 10am, marchers should not join until 11:15am. For those who have marched before, you'll be familiar with the sometimes crowded staging area: The fewer people we have standing about for long periods of time, the better, not only for marchers but also for those trying to operate vehicles.
Marchers should enter at the corner of Burrard & Robson, but will likely also be able to enter at Alberni & Thurlow or from Haro & Thurlow. You'll need to let the person at the entry gate know that you're marching with Pflag Vancouver at AN10, and they should be able to point you in the right direction. Please make sure that you join us no later than 11:15am.
Whatever you pack in you should also be prepared to pack out. We will not have storage space in our vehicle. If you bring something with you, you'll need to be able to carry it for the entire parade route.
We will be loud! We will have a sound system with music and a microphone, so please keep this in mind if you are sensitive to noise. The parade isn't a very quiet environment! :)
You should bring water and a snack for yourself or those who are in your care. It can be very warm, and you may be in direct sunlight for a number of hours. Umbrellas are sometimes a good idea, as well as sunscreen.
We always have a number of signs for people to carry, (usually about 16 or so). They are available for anyone to carry on our behalf on a first come, first serve basis. We do require signs to be returned to us just prior to the end of the parade.
The end of the parade is always a bit of a whirlwind of activity, but if you follow instructions from staff and volunteers, all should go smoothly. When we are approaching the end of the parade, you'll hear an announcement asking for signs to be turned in to the back of the vehicle.
At Pacific & Jervis, the vehicle will proceed straight along Pacific with only the driver and up to two passengers who must be in the cab of the vehicle. No one is allowed to walk with the vehicle. All those on foot MUST proceed to the right down Beach Ave. This is a main reason why nothing can be stored in the vehicle, as there will be no opportunity for marchers to retrieve items. If you are meeting up with others, they will be able to find you along Beach Ave between Jervis and Thurlow.
If you have any questions, please send them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we'll do our best to get back to you within 24 hours.
We absolutely look forward to having you with us this year!
We are very excited to announce the creation of Metro Vancouver's newest PFLAG Canada chapter, Pflag Surrey, effective Saturday June 29.
Surrey has held its own Pflag meetings as a part of Pflag Vancouver since November 2016. In that time, a close group has developed. We're thrilled that they've decided to move forward and become a chapter of their very own.
As a major metropolitan region in BC, Surrey and the surrounding area has its own unique needs and challenges with respect to LGBTQ issues: The City of Surrey recently refused to raise a Pride flag at City Hall, while the City of Delta - Local Government and the City of Vancouver - Local Governmentare making every effort to include LGBTQ people by raising flags; the Surrey RCMP recently faced a backlash as they raised their own Pride flag; Aldergrove has grappled with homophobia and transphobia, as a courageous neighbour named Lisa put up a flag to support her gay friends, only to have it removed and stolen several times. We recognize that the valley needs more LGBTQ representation, and Pflag Surrey will be there to help lead the way.
Please join Pflag Surrey this Saturday at Surrey Pride 20, and congratulate them as they celebrate their first day as a chapter. Recent donations made in Aldergrove for Pride flags, (very kindly donated by The Flag Shop Head Office), will be given to the new Pflag Surrey chapter.
Also note that PFLAG Abbotsford is under new leadership, and will continue to support parents, families, friends and allies in the eastern Fraser Valley.
Happy Pride to everyone in Surrey, and Happy Pride Month to all!
News & Updates
We'll keep you updated regarding meetings and other events around town