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Peterborough Pride attracts Ottawa group

Members of Gender Mosaic fly the flag

Peterborough Pride 2011 Credit: Courtesy of Amanda Ryan

It’s one of the later Pride celebrations, but that doesn’t mean Peterborough Pride is lacking in spirit.

Members of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender communities took to the streets on Saturday, Sept 17 to celebrate the beginning of Pride week.

Amanda Ryan, from Gender Mosiac, was among a group of trans activists who travelled to Peterborough to march in the parade. Ryan has made the trip for the last six years, building up contacts and giving trans people visibility on the streets.

“They really appreciate the fact that we come down as a trans group. There isn’t much of a trans group in Peterborough at all. We have attracted one or two members from the local area to march with us,” she says.

This year there were 23 people from Gender Mosiac and Xpressions in Toronto. Ryan says the turnout of parade participants was good, but onlookers were few and far between.

“Anyone who was involved in it was in the parade. There were very few people on the sides watching,” she says. “It was difficult to get enthusiasm going because there were so few people there to interact with, but it was fun. It was a really good day.”

Although the parade is small, Ryan says that when she first started marching it was tiny and was not recognized by town officials, but that is slowly changing.

“I was there the first two years, and even the mayor wouldn’t get involved the time I was there. But now there is a proclamation. The politicians are a lot more involved now than they were before,” she says.

On Saturday, for the first time in nine years, Mayor Daryl Bennett personally read the proclamation at the start of the parade.