Next week marks an exciting and historic event for Cochrane— The Town will be celebrating it’s first-ever Pride Week.
There will be a flurry of inspiring activities to participate in, and the event serves as an opportunity for our Town to show that we are an inclusive and welcoming place.
The week kicks off with the Pride Flag flying over Cochrane for the first time ever starting on Monday (Aug. 17). This is an important milestone for our Town and serves as a clear statement that all community members are valued parts of the Cochrane cultural mosaic.
“With diversity being a vital and integral part of our society, as well as in the spirit of inclusion, equity and human rights, I am asking that Town Council endorse and encourage all residents of the Town of Cochrane to reflect on our differences while coming together to celebrate our inaugural Pride Week during August 17-24 in support of our LGBTQ2S+ community,” said Mayor Jeff Genung.
More significantly, Pride Week offers a chance to engage in education while showing support for members of our community that have historically been disenfranchised— To this day, at times members of the LGBTQ2S+ continue to face discrimination.
Now is our chance to show they are respected and pivotal members of the Cochrane community.
For those unfamiliar with queer culture they can take part in one of two drag shows that feature the royalty of the drag community.
An exciting addition to these shows is the legendary queen Argintina Hailey, a two-spirit Stoney Nakoda member, who has been strutting on the drag stage for almost 20 years.
What makes the Cochrane Pride Drag Show especially meaningful, Hailey said, is that she can perform in Cochrane.
“Morley and Cochrane are friendly neighbours,” Hailey said with a laugh. “I’ve always wanted to do a show out in Cochrane— I’m sure Cochrane’s ready for it.”
Hailey added it is important to showcase the LGBTQ2S+ community because it can be difficult finding a space to exist in smaller towns since at times people can be a little judgmental.
Other events we can participate in include the film at the Cochrane Movie House.
On Aug. 21 Kindred will be showing the movie Prayers for Bobby at the Cochrane Movie House. The movie tells the story of a young man who comes out to his family only to be rejected by his mom. Bobby dies by suicide and his mom becomes an outspoken advocate for the LGBTQ2S+ community.
While these events are exciting to participate in it is important to remember celebrating Pride is more than just acknowledging the LGBTQ2S+ community for a single a proclaimed week— We can all take steps each day of the year to show that LGBTQ2S+ community members are crucial to Cochrane's rich social fabric.
To quote Kindred Cochrane Pride Society board chair Renita Bartlett, “For me as a member of the community and with lived experience Pride is much more than a day or a week or a month. It’s something that’s very important to me but it’s something that I celebrate all year round,” she said. “It’s not just a one-time thing where I come out and celebrate being part of the community… It’s something that I celebrate every day.”