The celebration included the raising of the rainbow-striped Pride flag, some impassioned words and a performance by the Rainbow Chorus.
Co-owner of Valley Vixen, Tessa Janes, told the crowd that gathered, “we are lucky to live in this part of the world with an exceptional landscape and an accepting community.” But, she said, prejudice still exists.
Marking the day every year, Janes said, raises awareness.
“Every hour of every day everywhere,” she said, “it’s up to us to stand against homophobia and transphobia.”
Phobias are deeply engrained, added Acadia University student Elle Vallee. “Jokes are the seeds that lead to violence.”
Mayor Jeff Cantwell, who acted as MC, said he hoped that one day society will transcend the need for a day to stand against homophobia and transphobia. He had help from student Nathan Biro in raising the flag over the town.
Lesley Wightman’s poetry was passed out, along with song lyrics. She asked the question, “were I meant to be silent, were I meant to never sing. Were I meant to be blinded to the hatred that I see?”
The proclamation noted that the theme for the worldwide day is families, highlighting the fact that love makes a family.