The Halifax Pride Festival 2017 starts today, July 20. Now in its 30th year, it continues to support the community, culture, and pride of Halifax’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual, Transgender, Intersex, Queer, Questioning, 2 Spirited, Asexual, Pansexual, and Allies (2SLBTQ+) community.
Halifax Pride Festival expects to see an estimated 120,000 participants and spectators over the 11-day event. While the Halifax Pride Parade on Saturday, July 22 is its biggest event, Halifax Pride Festival is more than just the parade. There are more than 100 events planned for July 20 – 30, including public lectures, comedy shows, vigils, sporting events, panel discussions, dance parties, drag shows, and more.
“Halifax Pride strives to provide a platform where all 2SLGBTQ+ peoples can share their lived experiences, stories, and talents. We hope to create a diverse festival that honours our history of grassroots activism, celebrates our advancements, and continues to protest injustice, prejudice, and discrimination to create meaningful positive change for our community.” (Halifax Pride Guide 2017).
This year’s event is from Thursday, July 20 – Sunday, July 30. For a full schedule of all Halifax Pride Festival events, please go to www.halifaxpride.com.
In many countries, 2SLGBTQ+ persons are frequent victims of violence, cultural stereotyping and discrimination, and live in fear of having their identities revealed. In fact, more than 70 countries consider homosexuality a crime and nine countries have laws whereby “convicted homosexuals” can be sentenced to death. Fear of death, violence and stigma can prevent persons from making a refugee claim. When refugee claims are made, systemic discrimination due to sexual orientation and gender identity can result in claimants fearing for their safety while they wait for their status to be processed.
ISANS is proud to be a friend and supporter of the Rainbow Refugees Association of Nova Scotia (RRANS), a registered non-profit society. RRANS has successfully sponsored 5 refugees and assisted with the local settlement 6 refugees, all persons persecuted due to their sexual orientation or gender identity. To learn more about RRANS and information on issues facing 2SLGBTQ+ refugees, visit www.rainbowrefugees.com.