Minden Pride grows in its second year
By Darren Lum
Published Aug. 17, 2017
For the second year, Minden will be home to the only pride event in Haliburton County.
Minden Pride committee’s co-chairperson Paul Roy is inviting the public to attend the first full Pride Week to celebrate diversity and promote dignity and respect for LGBTQ people: lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender and questioning and community allies.
The week’s featured event is the pride picnic starting at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 27, held at the Wild Swan at 65 Invergordon Ave. in Minden. It will include a barbecue of burgers and hot dogs, salads for vegetarians, children games. Ommmh will also be offering temporary glitter tattoos and live entertainment will be performed by Hellfire Hal and the Hottub Hussies, Cassidy Glecoff and Sheri Hawkins and the Pride Players.
Roy wanted to join the volunteers on the Minden Pride committee this year after the fun he experienced at last year’s event.
“It was just a fun day. It was about everybody coming together and celebrating and creating a space where it was just really open, fun and positive,” he said. “To me it’s really all about the picnic and having a great day with friends and supporters and community.”
The proceeds from the children’s zone at the picnic are going to the Haliburton Highlands Secondary School LGBTQ Alliance.
The rainbow flag was raised at the Minden township office last year in response to the tragic shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., in 2016 and a storefront in Haliburton being defaced with homophobic graffiti. Subsequently, a community picnic celebrating Pride was organized and held by the Gull River. The effort was led by Minden Pride Community, a volunteer, not-for-profit community organization that was formed in 2016, according to a press release from the committee.
“When we, as a community of LGBTQ and allies, show our strength in numbers and acceptance, it makes it easier for those struggling with coming out to see that they are not alone. Join us for Pride week,” Minden Pride’s Facebook page reads.
The week starts with the rainbow flag raising ceremony on Monday, Aug. 21 a 10 a.m. at Minden’s township office at 7 Milne St.
Roy said this year’s version added the tea dance on Saturday, Aug. 26, from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m. at the Grill on the Gull at 115 Bobcaygeon Rd. and the chair’s reception/meet and greet on Wednesday, Aug. 23, at 5:30 p.m. at Boshkung Social, at 20 Water St.
The meet and greet, Roy said, will give people an opportunity to socialize with neighbours.
The Minden Pride Facebook page posted an article from the website back2stonewall.com about the tea dance and its origins being linked to before the 20th century when it was only known as “tea.” The late-afternoon tea became popular in the U.S. and England and was a popular place for women and men to meet. By the 1950s these events and tea fell out of favour with heterosexuals. However, the gay community held these events to be able to socialize and dance with one another. At the time, it was illegal for same-sex dancing. Any time there was a police raid gay men and lesbian women would change from their same-sex partners to form mixed couples.
Two regular Minden events will take on the pride theme this week: trivia on Thursday, Aug. 24 at 8 p.m. at the Dominion Hotel at 113 Bobcaygeon Rd., and Music by the Gull on Friday, Aug. 25 at 6:30 p.m. on Water Street and Bobcaygeon Road.
The Anglican church will be providing the loud and proud church service starting at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 27, led by Reverend Max Ward and Canon Milton Barry at the St. Paul’s Anglican Church at 19 Invergordon Ave.
“It’s a very important thing for people to be recognized and welcomed for who they are completely and to have the church do that over the last several years is very meaningful,” he said.
He adds, this will be a ecumenical service – open to all denominations.
Roy moved here 12 years ago and has always felt positively about Minden, which has always felt welcoming. Envisioning this event was never difficult for the local business owner, who started Up River Trading Co. with his partner five years ago.
“The nice thing is that it wasn’t hard to imagine because I’ve never encountered a more welcoming, inclusive, loving community than we have here. So, it’s not a surprise,” he said.