Make your to-bring list, and check it twice, for Delta Pride Society’s (DPS) third annual Pride Picnic coming up on Aug. 21 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Memorial Park.
Following last year’s event needing to be cancelled, the non-profit is looking forward to giving 2SLGBTQ folks and allies the opportunity to connect with one another and reflect on the community’s history – all while staying safe and socially distant.
“I’m hoping that [the picnic] will be the first of many things that we’re going to be able to do as we move forward, away from COVID-19,” says Christa Horita Kadach, vice president of the DPS.
Of course, the upcoming picnic will be a little different from previous years and won’t include close-contact activities, but DPS president John Darras expects that it will also have a different “emotional” feeling to it in light of the continual findings of Indigenous children’s remains at former residential schools.
“I think, whether we’re celebrating or mourning, or finding the balance of celebration and mourning, it’s so important for people to come together and [have] … human connection for support,” adds Horita Kadach.
Learning about and acknowledging the histories and current struggles that other marginalized communities face will be even more emphasized in this year’s Pride Picnic.
The importance of this was spoken about at their 2019 picnic, where Musqueam speaker and educator Rhiannon Bennett opened the event by asking attendees to reflect on how we can support one another in our unique plights.
“It was a very powerful moment, and it rings especially true now, two years later,” says Lydia Elder, the DPS’s secretary treasurer.
The first Pride Picnic in 2018 was put together to answer a call from a Delta parent wanting to support their LGBTQ child, and since then, the DPS has worked to make all their events kid-friendly.
“[We wanted to] to keep it family-friendly, so that anybody didn’t have a hesitation of bringing their kids. That was the intent behind it, versus being prudish,” said Darras. “I know people who won’t take their kids to Pride in Vancouver because of what might be visible, and they don’t want their kids exposed to that – even though, I don’t have any issues with that [kind of stuff].”
Elder also hopes that the picnic will be a space for young people to connect with one another before they head into their school year come September.
“We don’t really know how many kids have come out or how many kids have been in these situations where maybe it hasn’t been very safe at home, or supportive,” she says. “And they can walk past the park and have a chance to connect with some other folks and start the year off getting to make some new friends. That safety, that connection, I think it’s exciting.”
The Pride Picnic is also meant to be a welcoming and relaxing experience, and as the province is beginning to open back up again, what better way to bask in the light of your community than socially-distanced on your own picnic blanket?
To stay up to date on Delta Pride Society and their upcoming events, keep an eye on their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/deltapridesociety and Instagram at @pridedelta.