The second annual Chestermere Pride celebrations kicked-off with the repainting of the Pride and Transgender crosswalks in front of city hall on June 28.
Around 40 Synergy youth members, City Councillors, first responders, and Chestermere residents all pitched in to paint the Pride and Transgender crosswalks.
“We painted and had fun,” said an Organizer of Chestermere Pride Joshua Neiszner.
The day began with the painting of the Transgender crosswalk which was painted with traditional light blue stripes on the top and bottom, traditional pink stripes, and a white stripe in the centre to represent those who are intersex, transitioning, or consider themselves to have a neutral or undefined gender.
While the Transgender crosswalk was being finished, Synergy Youth began to repaint the second crosswalk the Pride colours which represent sexuality, life, healing, sunlight, nature, magic, serenity, and spirit.
Both crosswalks are important for Chestermere, because they show diversity in the community, and that the community cares about everyone, Neiszner said.
He added it’s great to have the crosswalks in front of city hall on a busy street, so they are visible for everyone to see.
“Crosswalks are a good way of showing solidarity to the community, and the fact that we have both the transgender and the rainbow crosswalk is a symbol that Chestermere supports these communities and we are endeavoring to make this a completely safe space,” said Senior Coordinator of Community and Neighbour Services Joanna Mugambi.
She added, “We realize as a new city we still have strides that we need to take, but we are excited about celebrating different aspects of the community,” she added.
Throughout the past year, Neiszner has received a lot of positive feedback from the community regarding the Chestermere Pride organizing committee.
“I heard that it’s great that we support all communities, and that it’s great we have this event for teenagers to come out and have a voice in the community,” Neiszner said.
It was important for Neiszner to join the Chestermere Pride Committee, after he attended the first pride event last year and fell in love in the event.
“I love being a part of events in the community. I decided to join the committee this year and see how we could improve the event and make it the best experience,” he said.
Throughout the weekend, residents were encouraged to attend a variety of Chestermere Pride events including a screening of the documentary Beyond Gay which was featured at the Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, Queer and Now, Pride in the Park, Reading with Royalty, all ages drag show, live entertainment, and a free BBQ.