Queers Dykes & Trans Take On Hali Pride

Posted on July 7, 2011 by


Queers, Rebels, Dykes and Trans people are taking Halifax Pride in a new direction with Queer and Rebel Days and Dyke & Trans March. A contingent of queers, dykes and trans people are running alternative events that don’t rely on corporate sponsorship, selling brand name booze, or selling out to audiences that are offended by queer visibility and sexuality.

Queer & Rebel Days runs on a mission that is totally in line with Fredericton’s own Queer Theory Collective:

“Queer and Rebel Days is a grassroots, DIY, anti-corporate alternative to Pride that provides anti-oppressive and safe spaces to people of all ages, gender, and sexualities. It is a drug- and alcohol-free week of events that focuses on education, skill sharing, and community building.”

It has been reported that the Halifax Pride Committee is attempting to make Halifax Pride more “family friendly” by downplaying or discouraging visible expressions of queer sexuality. Wayves contributor Rebecca Rose writes about the Dyke & Trans March in July’s Wayves: “Recently, the [Halifax Dyke & Trans] march became even more pertinent given the controversial comments by Halifax Pride Co-Chair Ed Savage in the June 2 issue of the Metro. In an article that celebrated Halifax Pride’s professionalism and close relationships with business, Savage was quoted as saying, “That’s what we strive for, to make it less promiscuous than other prides across the country . . . Our way of life in the Maritimes is different. And we also feel that our allies and our family aspect of Pride is just as important.”

The Queer Theory Collective believes that censoring visible queer  and sexual expression for the sake of “allies and families”, as well as for corporate sponsorship, is code for self-closeting homophobic oppression within and by the gay community itself.

“It’s dangerous and irresponsible to promote the idea that sexual expression should be muted to cater to the palate of a larger community, one that Pride Halifax isn’t even supposed to represent,” says Jessica Carlile, one of the [Dyke & Trans] march’s organizers. “This direction seems to be in response to corporate sponsorship.” [from Wayves, July 2011].

Queer Theory Collective is co-sponsoring a Fredericton Slut Walk which will take place on the Friday before the Sunday 7 August Fredericton Pride Parade and Festival. The Slut Walk emphasizes that we have the freedom to engage in sexual expression, but that expression does not also imply that we invite or condone sexual assault and rape.

Furthermore, to promote freedom of expression and creativity, Queer Theory Collective is also sponsoring the Pride event: “Get Your Freak On! Most Creative Costume Contest” for Fredericton Pride.

“Either put it on or take it off, but do something” says Shaun Bartone organizer of the QTC’s “Most Creative Costume” event a Pride 2011. The Queer Theory Collective is offering a prize for the Most Creative Costume in the Fredericton Pride Parade, 7 August 2011. Marchers are encouraged to wear their most outrageous, colourful and creative outfits in the Pride March this year to show how creative the queer community is in Fredericton.

Four local businesses have come forward to offer gift certificates for the Most Creative Costume:

Pleasures & Treasures on Queen St., formerly Xcitement Video, is giving a $50 gift certificate as the First Prize for the Most Creative Costume Contest.

The Gallery Connection is offering a one-year free adult membership, with discounts on admission to all their shows and full participation as a member, worth $20;

Nirvana Bistro and Juice Bar is offering two $10 gift certificates for a meal or beverage of your choice at the King St. restaurant and yoga studio, courtesy of Jonas;

Endeavours Art Supply/Think Play on Queen St. is offering a $10 gift certificate for art supplies or toys.

Contestants who wish to compete for the prize for the Most Creative Costume should walk in the Fredericton Pride Parade in their most outrageous outfit. Contestants will then be invited on stage at the Pride Festival at Officer’s Square for final judging and award. Members of the Queer Theory Collective and Fredericton Pride will serve as this year’s judges.

Posted in: Pride, QTC