CORNWALL, Ontario – Members of LGBTQ+ community and supporters took to the streets with flags and megaphones on July 7 to celebrate pride at the Cornwall Pride Parade and Festival.
Cornwall Community Police Service estimated that the parade had around 150 people, with more joining at Lamoureux Park. The parade traveled through Fifth Street and Pitt Street to Lamoureux Park while cheering and chanting messages of pride.
“We are very happy to have so many people come out and support our community,” said Liz Quenville, the President of Diversity Cornwall. “Our goal is to really make the LGBT community feel welcome in Cornwall and remind them that they can use our services and resources.”
While there has been progress in Cornwall, there is still work that needs to be done, according to Quenville.
“We have been questioned about the need for a parade like this, we have heard hateful homophobic and transphobic comments, we have been called names, and have felt unsafe, and every one of those experiences has made us stronger and more determined to be here today,” said Quenville.
Mayor Bernadette Clement also marched in the parade, being the first mayor to participate in a Cornwall Pride Parade, according to Quenvillie.
“I was sad to hear that there are still homophobic or racist messages being spread, which is a reality but not the majority. Thankfully, we have groups like this to help support our community and help make everyone feel safe here,” said Mayor Clement.
At Lamoureux Park, vendors lined the bike path and music was being played with activities for both children and adults. Yoga, inflatable structures, and a barbecue were there for participants and community members to take part in.
“For me its important to attend as many events as I can, specifically events that speak to inclusion. We are in a really good moment for growth in Cornwall and I hope that we continue on this trajectory,” said Mayor Clement.