Tigers of all stripes take part in Halifax Pride Parade
Dal's contingent was its largest yet
Katherine Wooler - August 2, 2012
Sarah-Jo Briand was thrilled to organize Dalhousie’s entry in the Halifax Pride Parade, which took place last Saturday.
“What I enjoy most…is the excitement felt by everyone leading up to an event that keeps growing every year,” said the returning organizer.
That excitement was sky high this year, as the Dal contingent grew considerably for the 25th anniversary of the Halifax Pride Parade. This was Dalhousie’s fifth year formally partaking in the parade.
See also: Black and gold and rainbow (photo essay)
Speaking to Dal News while preparing for the event, Briand described that rising enthusiasm.
“Groups across campus are really going all out this year and getting involved, in a way we haven't seen to this magnitude,” she said. "What went from planning committee meetings of five, have turned into groups of 15.”
After having the honour of carrying Ottawa’s Pride flag last year, Dalhousie’s Pride Parade committee made a significant effort to increase participation for 2012, reaching out to more societies, service groups and senior administrators.
Briand said she enjoys offering a way for people to get involved in Pride, especially those who aren’t sure how.
“We [the parade committee] focused on unity and letting the Dalhousie community know that we are participating and that we want their involvement,” she said.
Big growth from proud beginnings
Gaye Wishart, Dalhousie’s harassment prevention advisor, was very pleased with the large turnout.
“It’s quite remarkable to see the support, nice to see really new employees be a part of welcoming others into the Dal community,” she said.
She has walked with Dalhousie in the parade since the university first organized an entry.
“I think the first year there were six of us,” she said, while looking at this year’s buzzing crowd of Dal Pride celebrators.
Dalhousie’s parade entry included representation from various faculties, departments, administration sectors, individual supporters, societies and advocacy groups. Everyone from DalOut to the Swing Dance Society arrived ready to walk.
Roshika Manning’s reason for walking was simple.
“It’s just fun,” she said, smiling beneath a foam crown and feather mask.
“I’m proud of my friends and to represent Dal and Career Services,” added the career events coordinator.
Dal Dance joined the Dal contingent officially for the first time. Society president and sociology major Allie Nugent explained that the group took a freestyle approach to the parade. Some dancers dressed in ballet attire while others channeled hip-hop or belly dancing vibes.
CKDU-FM, Dalhousie’s campus radio station and a long-time participant in Halifax Pride, provided the soundtrack for Dal Dance and musical motivation for the entire procession.
“CKDU is as diverse as they come,” said Gianna Lauren, station coordinator. “We are mandated to promote under-represented voices, community-based events and organizations, and provide an alternative media outlet.”
ResLife was also present for the parade, and representative Melissa MacKay explained that Dalhousie residences aim be inclusive by providing all staff with diversity training.
“Diversity is a part of the way we live in res,” she said.
Briand stated that it wouldn’t be sufficient for Dalhousie to just say that it supports the rainbow community. By being in the parade, the university has shown that it is a welcoming place for LGBTQ students and staff.
“Actions speak louder than words.”
For more ways in which Dalhousie actively supports LGBTQ interests, visit http://studentservices.dal.ca/interests/lgbtq.html
Photo essay: Black and gold and rainbow