By Jenn Watt
Organizers of Minden Pride Week laid out an ambitious schedule last week offering something every day and something for nearly everyone starting with a flag raising ceremony at the municipal office accompanied by instrumental and vocal performances, and poignant speeches.
Each day following included something Pride-related, from a movie screening, meet and greet, trivia night, street fest, story hour, and burlesque dance party. People came out in droves, enjoying the opportunity to celebrate the diversity of the LGBTQ+ community and to support fellow community members.
Plus, it was all a lot of fun.
In Haliburton village, a few businesses joined in with Minden’s week, flying the iconic rainbow flags from their shops, adding bright bursts of colour to our main street. It was heartening to see and made our village feel even more friendly and inclusive.
The success of Minden Pride and the obvious desire throughout the county to support the message behind the week could offer an opportunity in the future. Could Haliburton village, and other points around the Highlands, join in with the festivities?
Often in Haliburton County, the villages work hard not to step on each others’ toes. Canada Day is left to West Guilford to host while Haliburton holds back. Minden, Haliburton and Wilberforce schedule their Christmas parades so that Santa has time to make it to all of them.
But Pride is something that could – and should – be widely embraced across the county. We all should be happy to stand up for people’s right to love who they love and be who they were born to be. Could Minden Pride morph into County Pride?
Aside from the obvious benefit of having more events accessible to more people, hosting Pride events in other villages could offer a unified and amplified message across the county. How great would it be to have Pride flags at each of the municipal offices? How heart-warming would it be to have events – even smaller ones – in any hamlet that was interested?
I know just from walking down Highland Street in Haliburton that having those rainbow flags fluttering in the wind reminds me of the positive, supportive, forward-thinking people who took the time to put them up. When you see a rainbow, you know you’re in an accepting place.
And we could all use a little more acceptance.
Maybe next year, Haliburton could join with Minden to bring even more energy and enthusiasm to what has become one of the county’s most important events. There is certainly enough Pride to go around.