Golden Pride will be hosting its first formal event since 2019 and its second pride event ever on Friday, Sept. 9, at Spirit Square from 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.
There will be a pride flag raising, as well as speeches from Mayor Ron Oszust and members of the Gender Sexuality Alliance. MLA Doug Clovechok is also coming and Town Council will be in attendance.
The Golden Rotary Club will be hosting a BBQ and there will be live entertainment from Amy Bishop.
Golden Pride is also fundraising for Rainbow Refugee, a registered charity located in British Columbia founded in 2000, that works to resettle LGBTQ/2S+ people seeking refugee protection in Canada.
For Joy Guyot, one of the organizers of the 2019 and 2022 Golden Pride, the event is an opportunity for the community to show their support for LGBTQ/2S+ residents.
“I would love to see every business in town with rainbow decal on their window, not just because it’s the politically correct thing to do, but because they actually buy into it and believe it,” said Guyot.
Guyot thinks a lot of the enthusiasm she has seen has come from the recent fallout with Canmore-based Valbella’s Gourmet Foods, whose company owner was removed after sending a homophobic and transphobic email to Canmore Pride.
She says she’s been thrilled to see the support from the businesses in town, who have helped raise over $8,000 for Rainbow Refugee so far.
“People just have to stand up and then I think people will start to challenge those preconceived notions, it can be really hard to fight the rhetoric that’s out there,” said Guyot.
“Unfortunately, there are people in this town that believe that rhetoric, I’ve heard it and it can be scary. Until they realize that we’re your neighbours, we work with you, we’re parents on the PTA, we just want to be on the same level.”
Guyot says that the best way to fight homophobia is with information and standing up to let people know who you are. Visibility is a huge aspect of fighting that rhetoric and is why Pride events are so important.
She says that even small microaggressions that are the result of heteronormativity, the practice of assuming that straight and cis-gendered is the default, need to be addressed.
She cites that she has been with her wife for 18 years and still gets asked to split the cheque when at a restaurant, or gets asked if they would like separate beds when staying at a hotel. She says while these are minor and intend no harm, they still need to be a challenge to create a slightly more welcoming environment.
The event on Sept. 9 is not the only pride event of the weekend – Kicking Horse Mountain Resort will be hosting a “Pride Ride” through their bike park on Sept. 10, in partnership with Golden Pride. There will be both beginners, intermediate and advanced groups that leave from Eagle’s Eye at 1 pm.
Registration for that event is open at guest services at the resort.