‘A long time coming’: Kingston Pride celebrations are back in person

After three years, Kingston Pride is returning in person, and Mark Richardson, communications officer at the Kingston Pride Board, says it’s been a long time coming.

“It’s an opportunity for us to come together, to be a community, to embrace our own identity, to show Kingston and the world, we’re here, we’re queer, please let us be.”

Richardson says Kingston Pride has a history of pushing back and fighting for LGBTQ+ safe spaces.

“30+ years ago here in Kingston, when one of the first day celebration day was trying to being organized, the city wouldn’t even allow an official recognition of that day, it’s always been a process of doing education, outreach, trying to essentially change the world one person at a time so we continue to feel safe.”

Richardson says things are changing and people are starting now to not feel as safe.

“I see a lot of progress that has happened in the last decade start to erode away…a lot of anti-trans activism…with progress in areas like same sex marriage and transgender rights, always comes those advocates against those expansions on equal rights to all.”

Pride week began on June 9 and will run until Sunday, June 19. Upcoming events include a free screening of “Rocketman,” a concert from Joyful Joyful as part of Skeleton Park Arts Fest and The Pride Parade.

The parade will run Saturday from 11 a.m. to noon, it will begin on Clergy Street, head down Princess Street to Confederation basin for the community fair.

Listen to the full CFRC interview with Mark Richardson:

Story by Karim Mosna, CFRC 101.9 FM, for the Local Journalism Initiative