Grand Marshalls 2019

To Whom it May Concern,

2019 is the year of Pride and Progress.

But these each mean different things to different people.

It is Progress to see one foot put in front of the other, and we have Pride that we can do so better than we used to. We can celebrate and be gay in the streets, in our homes, and the world will have to spin in our sparkling, glorious, wake. But can we be Bi in the streets? Lesbian? Trans? Two Spirit? Can we be fat, non-white, have mental illnesses or disabilities and still party with the rest of us?

To others, Pride is a small flame we shelter from the world in each of those places, unable to dress how we want, walk how we want, talk how we want, or be who we want with who we want. We can watch others cry “Progress!” and “An end to discrimination!” and be shut down when we try to join with them.

It is only through Progress we can all feel safe. We can be proud of how far we have come, but we will not have Pride until we can bring everyone with us.

The board of St. John’s Pride Inc. would like to take time to acknowledge the works and workers of our province on this, the 50th year of the decriminalization of homosexuality. Progress was made, is being made, and has yet to be made.

Let us have Pride in those who make this Progress.

The Grand Marshalls for the 2019 St. John’s Pride Parade are some of the people who have made this province bright and queer in the last year, often tirelessly, often at personal expenses.

As Queer Friendly Business of the Year, we would like to present VERTICAL XPRESSION as an all ages body positive space in our downtown region, that champions self expression and unicorns.

As Thought Leader, we would welcome BLAIR CURTIS, wunderkind of the advocacy scene, campaigning for access to healthcare across the province, tirelessly and with aplomb.

As Community Group of the Year, we thank the MERB’YS of the NL BEARD AND MOUSTACHE CLUB for campaigning fabulously for a softer masculinity and for body and gender diversity in our fair province.

As Youth Advocates of the Year, we are pleased to bring the PARENTS OF TRANS AND GENDER DIVERSE KIDS to the fore; their work has made our schools and parents more able to protect our kids.

Finally, we would welcome everyone to write to us on facebook or via email their choice for the Community Choice Grand Marshal! We’ll be accepting nominations, with name and contact information of the group or individual in question, until June 7th.
After a brief vetting process by our Board, both to determine availability and suitability of the application, we’ll open the top 4 to a community vote by mid June.

Let’s get marching. Catch you at City Hall July 14th.

Yours in Pride,

Derek Semerad
Co-Chair Internal
St. John’s Pride Inc.

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