World Outgames
2 min

Libby Davies talks about Vancouver Pride and the Outgames

News of
Jack Layton’s health crisis came just as NDP MP Libby Davies was ready to
celebrate Pride in Vancouver. I caught up with Davies after the caucus meeting
this morning.


Q:
Vancouver
Pride and the Outgames are this week. What are your plans, despite the
interruption?


A:
I was
planning on going to the opening on Monday at city hall, but then, because of
Jack’s press conference and, of course, there was a lot of media right
afterward, I had to stay at my office and deal with that for the rest of the
day. But I did talk to people who were there who told me it was just wonderful.
And, of course, this is Pride Week; there are so many activities going on. I’m
hoping to make it back to Vancouver, so that I can go to the Dyke March on
Saturday. In fact, a few weeks ago, there was a wonderful fundraiser for the
Dyke March, which had run into some financial difficulties. Three out women from different levels of government, myself – federal, Mable Elmore – provincial and Ellen Woodsworth – civic, co-hosted the fundraiser, which I missed it because we were in the
House debating the back-to-work legislation. So, I’m really happy that the Dyke
March is going ahead in my community along Commercial Dr. There’s so many
events. There’s the human rights conference, which is underway.

Q: Which
is part of the Outgames.

A: Yes,
and I had gone to the international one in Copenhagen two years ago, and, really, it’s a marvelous event. It’s one of those places where you can just go up to
anybody and feel like you know them. I had never experienced that 
sense of solidarity before because I’d never gone to a full LGBT conference
other than that one in Copenhagen. It was just a wonderful feeling to be able to literally go up to anybody and feel an instant bond, regardless whether they were from Africa, Asia, Latin America, North America or wherever. I know Randall Garrison went to the human rights conference briefly
yesterday before he came to Ottawa. And then I’m going to go to the Q Ball on
Saturday night, which is a big gala event where they induct various amazing people
into the Queer Hall of Fame. That’s going to be a very nice event. And
then, of course, Sunday is the big day. I have been in the Pride parade when it’s
poured with rain, but mostly it's been a stunningly sunny day. You walk along
Denman and then Beach Ave with thousands and thousands of people; it’s
an outpouring.

I’ve often said that to me, the Pride parade reminds me of what
the Peace Walk in Vancouver used to be in the '80s when upwards of 50,000
people would come out. The expression of love and positive feeling toward each
other is what I find incredible at the parade, and it’s fun. People have water guns, and things happen spontaneously. The NDP will have a
big contingent in it this year. Jack has been often in the past. He won’t be there this year, and I’m going to be thinking of him when I'm there. Over many decades, he’s been a great friend of the queer community, going back to when he, as the chair of the Toronto Board of Health and
Toronto city councilor, attended the FCM [Federation of Canadian Municipalities]. I’m going to be thinking of Jack when I walk this year.

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