Organizers of Kelowna’s first Trans Pride March say they were delighted with the turnout for the event Tuesday evening.
An estimated 200 people showed up to take part in the march, which wound its way along the downtown waterfront from the Sails sculpture at the foot of Bernard Avenue to the downtown boat launch, where it crossed Water Street and continued, on the sidewalk, to the Laurel Building at the corner of Ellis Street and Cawston Avenue.
Wilbur Turner, president of the Okanagan Pride Society, which included the first ever Kelowna Trans Pride March as part of this week’s Okanagan Pride Festival, said he was very happy with the turnout and the support for transgender people. He said he expected the march would attract about 100 people.
While gays and lesbians are afforded equal rights and protections under the law in Canada, transgenerdered people are not. Discrimination abounds for them and that needs to change, said Turner.
The sentiment was echoed by several people taking part in the march, which was led by a group carrying a specially made, large Trans Pride flag.
Following the march, the crowd gathered inside the Laurel building to watch a documentary about the transgender performer who was supposed to play at the event, Rae Spoon.
Spoon had to cancel due to food poisoning, so the documentary My Prairie Home, chronicling Spoon’s life, was shown instead.
Pride Week continues through to the weekend, when the annual Pride March takes place downtown Saturday, starting in Stuart Park at 11 a.m.
This year, Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran will be the march grand marshal, marking the first time a sitting Kelowna mayor has led the march.