Rainbow Pride flags were raised in all six of Muskoka’s towns and townships this week.
The ceremonies were livestreamed to the Muskoka Pride Facebook page to limit the number of attendees gathering at each location, and those who did attend wore a face mask.
The mayors and members of municipal councils extended their best wishes for a successful and unique week of Pride events, said Muskoka Pride in a media release.
The Rainbow Flag symbolizes the LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer) community, with the many colours representing the diverse community.
For Merv Taylor-Morin, president of Muskoka Pride, the flag raisings are a symbol of acceptance of the LGBTQ+ population of Muskoka. “It says to the people in Muskoka that our community is diverse and inclusive, an important message for residents and visitors.”
He stressed the need for the flag raisings’ visibility within Muskoka. “It’s important for all people to see it and know that they’re welcome in their own communities.”
“It is significant that all communities of Muskoka are once again recognizing the Muskoka Pride Festival this year,” says board member Shawn Forth, “because there are LGBTQ+ residents all over Muskoka, who want to feel supported by their town.”
Having grown up in Muskoka, Forth understands the feeling of isolation that comes with thinking you are alone. “Visibility is important for the LGBTQ+ community so that you don’t feel isolated. LGBTQ+ Pride is not just about tolerance and acceptance—it’s about celebrating the rich diversity in our community.”
This year’s Pride Week theme is “Socially distanced…but still Fabulous!” which reflects the efforts made by the planning committee to ensure safety, while providing a mixture of both virtual and in-person socially distanced events.
Everyone, no matter how they identify, is welcome to attend all Muskoka Pride events. To see the remaining events and activities for this week, visit muskokapride.com or click “Events” on the Muskoka Pride Facebook Page.
Muskoka Pride receives funding from the Government of Canada through the Local Festivals – Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage grant and thanks its 2020 Signature Sponsors: TD Bank, Walmart Canada, and the Bala Cranberry Festival.
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