Montreal's pride community continues to fight beyond borders
Published Sunday, August 11, 2019 8:16PM EDT
Montreal's Pride Festival's colours continue to fly through the city in its 13th year, which organizers say is the biggest festival in its history.
The festival started Thursday and features over 250 activities ending with the marquee event Sunday.
"We have so many things, and we also have family activities," said Fierte Montreal ambassador Sandy Duperval. "We have our community day on Saturday, and then Sunday it's the big parade."
Duperval will host Cabaret Fierte at Jardins Gamelin Tuesday. She added that the festival also highlights serious anniversaries such as the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in New York City's Greenwich Village Tuesday.
"We also will talk about the different fights," said Duperval. "It also started here, 40 years ago, in Quebec by La Brigade Rose, who were only 52 people to march. They had no support whatsoever, and they were really brave. That's why I'm standing here, and we're all standing here. It took a few people to be absolutely courageous to bring us to this point."
Montreal's pride organizers work to reach beyond Canada's borders to include other nations' LGTB+ communities, and help support their fights for equality.
"We try to raise awareness and help to build other prides especially in countries where it's still a crime. It's still illegal and people are getting the death sentence," said Duperval.
Though lives are generally better in Quebec than other places, Duperval said work needs to be done to help those who remain threatened.
"We've come a long way, but there's still a lot of threats going on," she said. "Our trans community needs our support more than ever. We need to continue to build safer spaces and programs especially in different corporations to protect the LGTB+ communities."
Duperval said the Internet remains a place where her community is threatened.
"We're still seeing a lot of darkness, a lot of people that don't understand what we stand for and we're truly just here for love and freedom," she said.