Montreal, August 18th, 2019
Happiness and glee once again filled the streets of Montreal this past week, as Montreal’s Pride festivities took place. A week long celebration of diversity was capped off this past Sunday, with the annual Pride parade. And what a parade it was. As usual, the day was filled with cheer and glee. Hugs all around and an overall sense of love filled the air. Pride really embodies all that is good about life in this Canadian metropolis.
Colorful displays and extravagant costumes were on display, as well as some more simple outfits. Some chose a tee-shirt and a rainbow flag, while others adorned themselves in feathers or took the opportunity to dress up. Whichever the case. Fun was at the forefront of the affair.
Prime Minister Trudeau not as popular this time around
Some of the participants that marched in the parade appeared to have joined of their own accord. Unsanctioned. If the banners and signs they carried with them were any indication, that is. Several political sentiments could be seen and the police entourage that encircle Prime Minister Trudeau was followed by masked protesters carrying a banner speaking against police brutality and racism. Others expressed anti-Pride sentiments even.
Trudeau received a murkier reception than the cheers he had during his first appearance. Some jeered and booed him as he strolled past.
Seeing so many banks and commercial entreprises such as Wal-mart in the parade raises questions to why they are there. All advertising is good advertising, or so it is said. Political parties were also on site, trying to rally up support and votes to secure their own agendas. Even the church and various other religious factions were seen. Previous orginizations that persicuted and rediculed the LGBTQ community have changed their tunes. Or have they; some placards suggest tolerance at most.
It seems that with the mainstream acceptance of alternative lifestyles comes the capitalist trying to cash in. Nothing new there. However, their goals are transparent.
Regardless, the estimated gathering of some 350,000 spectators is a great indication of how far society has come towards accepting people for whom they are. Forty years ago, the first Pride parade took place in Montreal. At that time, very few people cared or supported the LGBTQ community and hatred and bias was far more apparent.
Montreal as a whole should feel a sense of pride for being such a caring society. This truly is a city where all walks of life can live together without fear or hatred. Bravo la belle province.
Written by Kieron Yates. Photographed by Kieron Yates and Samantha Morris.