Hundreds of residents crowded Jubilee Plaza to celebrate Fort McMurray’s first pride event in roughly four years.
Pride YMM held a family friendly community gathering as a big step to help end the discrimination of people in the LGBTQ community.
Committee Member Jason Beck tells Mix News the day was about starting a conversation.
“The great thing about this event, the rainbow crosswalk as much as it’s gotten attention, both negative and positive, it starts a conversation and we understand each other once we start speaking to one another and hearing sides and stories.”
Since the crosswalk was created back in July, many have taken to social media to display their disapproval. This has led the Wood Buffalo RCMP to open an investigation into the possible threats.
Beck says everything he’s heard about the gathering has been nothing but positive.
“It’s been so overwhelming, the amount of support just from local businesses, community organizations, and individuals. Fort McMurray was ready for this and I think we’re ready for even more like this.”
— MIX 103.7 News (@Mix1037FMNews) August 26, 2017
Many well-known community members were on hand to celebrate including speeches from Mayor candidate Don Scott and Councillor Colleen Tatum. In front of many pride supporters, Tatum thanked the crowd for choosing “love over hate.”
Meanwhile, Beck notes there aren’t any plans for future events as most of their time was being used to plan the gathering. However, he believes this is something that could become an annual event.
“This has been a long time coming for this community.”