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Trans March sign of 'open, caring community' (5 photos)

'It is a part of being proud of who we are, but also bringing attention to some of the issues that the trans community faces,' says organizer of Trans Pride March

There was a sense of solidarity and pride near the Port of Orillia Thursday evening.

As part of Fierté Simcoe Pride celebrations, a Trans Pride March took place in Couchiching Beach Park. The theme of this year's march was to “protect trans youth and protect trans elders.”

“We’ve seen a lot of rhetoric over the past few years from politicians,” said Fierté Simcoe Pride chair and march organizer Christian Kenehan. “In the States, we’ve seen instances of Trans youth having their rights infringed and not being able to have access to sports.”

Kenehan says the Trans Pride March means different things to different people.

“Trans marches have traditionally been more political than a standard Pride parade,” they said. “It is a part of being proud of who we are, but also bringing attention to some of the issues that the trans community faces.”

Kenehan says the event gives the trans community an opportunity to share the trans experience with the greater Orillia community.

“It’s about the community getting together and supporting one another,” they said. “It’s about showing up and being visible.”

Reverend Ivy Beaton, 64, served as the event's elder grand marshal. Beaton, who was born intersex, says it was important for her to represent the LGBTQ community on Thursday evening.   

“I’ve been the grand marshal for this event a couple of times now,” she said. “It’s a crazy honour.”

Beaton hopes to use her voice to help today’s youth avoid the same “atrocities” that she faced growing up. She says the Simcoe County region and more specifically the Orillia community have shown a lot of support for the LGBTQ community.

“There are actually a lot of resources here at our disposal,” she said. “We need to continue to make the community safer for everybody.”

Beaton calls on all politicians, businesses, and residents of the community to support Fierté Simcoe Pride.

Kai Soczka, 17, served as the youth grand marshal during the event that attracted several dozen people.

“This is my first Pride event ever,” they said. “It’s nice to see we are getting representation.”

Soczka is thankful that the LGBTQ community can host public events safely in Orillia. 

“It says that we are a very open, caring community, and we respect everyone who lives here,” they said. “We support everyone equally.”

However, the job isn’t done, Soczka says, stressing it’s important to keep spreading messages around the community to obtain continued support for Fierté Simcoe Pride and the LGBTQ community. 

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Tyler Evans

About the Author: Tyler Evans

Tyler Evans got his start in the news business when he was just 15-years-old and now serves as a video producer and reporter with OrilliaMatters
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