YARMOUTH, N.S. – This week is Pride week in Yarmouth and the overall goal of the activities this year is the same as last year when a Pride parade was first introduced here.
“It's to make sure people feel safe and to raise awareness,” says Joey Benoit, an organizer of the events and a member of the local LGBTQ+ community.
“I’m transgender. I just started hormone replacement therapy five months ago so it's important to be able to feel safe and to be able to do stuff without being discriminated against,” Benoit says, adding the response to last year’s Pride events were very heartwarming.
“There was so much support, it was awesome,” Benoit says, adding it is great to see new Pride events being held in other towns and cities. “It is a lot of work, but it's worth putting it on.”
This week’s Pride Parade happens on Saturday, Sept. 15 at 2 p.m. It will begin on Argyle Street and will make its way along Main Street to Coronation Park (Milton Ballfield) where activities are planned for afterwards, that will include musical performances. The parade will also be aired a few days on Eastlink Television.
As of late last week they were up to 46 entries, which is comparable to last year’s parade.
People can still register an entry up until the day of the parade. The registration fee is $20.
Going back to why Pride events are important, Benoit says people have become more accepting and supportive of the LGBTQ+ community. But there are still people who are uncomfortable or nervous to come forward so it is important to let them know they are supported. And sadly there are times when people are harassed or will have derogatory remarks directed at them for simply being who they are.
“I just let it slide off my shoulders if it happens to me because I’m just trying to be a good representative for people,” Benoit says. Still, asked how it feels to sometimes be judged by others, Benoit says, “It makes me feel bad. But in the other sense there are other things that happen that are really good. . . I went to have my nails done for the first time and then went into a store. I’ve never before come out of a dressing room wearing a dress and the girls there made me feel so comfortable. We talked about my being trans. So it is starting to get better.
“And now that people accept me, I feel I can move on with who I am,” says Benoit.
Other Pride events include a Pride Under the Stars Movie Night on Friday evening, Sept. 14 at Coronation Park at 7:30 p.m. People can bring their own blankets and chairs. There will be candy and popcorn on site.
The 2014 comedy film Pride will be shown. Based on a true story, the film depicts a group of lesbian and gay activists who lend their support and raise money to help families affected by a lengthy British miners' strike in 1984. A line in the film by the activists says, “Mining communities are being bullied just like we are.” The film was nominated for a Golden Globe Award in the category Best Motion Picture Musical or Comedy and received other film awards and nominations. You can view the film trailer here:
On Saturday evening, Sept. 15, Derrick Barry, described as one of the fiercest Britney Spears impersonators – who competed on the third season of America's Got Talent and on the eight season of RuPaul's Drag Race – was supposed to have performed at the Red Knight. However, Barry posted a message on Facebook that read: 'I’m sorry to announce that I will not be attending Yarmouth Pride on Saturday, 9/15. Unfortunately, they did not fulfill their obligations regarding my contract, deposit & rider..apologize to all of the fans in Nova Scotia that purchased tickets. I’ve had this weekend scheduled off for months to come & perform for all of you. This news breaks my happy heart."
On its Offcial Yarmouth Pride page the organizers of this weekend's event say people who purchased tickets will receive refunds.