Pride Parade 2019 – you looked fabulous, Whitehorse!

A bad case of writer’s block put me a month behind on the blog, but I think I’m just going to skip most of what happened during that month as far as blogging goes, and move on. Yesterday, the Pride Parade was held in Whitehorse, and it was extremely well attended – by far the best ever from what I’ve heard. This was the first one I had attended, because I’m rarely home in June, but it won’t be the last.

The weather looked ominous, and everybody expected that we’d get hit by a nasty storm, but it never happened, though there was some distant lightning and thunder, and a few drops of rain. We’ve been getting a lot of violent afternoon storms for the past week or so – very unusual for the area.

Storm clouds over Whitehorse, Yukon
The parade route was a mile long. I parked at the end, Shipyards Park, and walked to the staging area at the top of Main Street. Setup was to start at 12:45 but when I arrived at 12:20, there were already lots of people getting ready.

Pride Parade 2019 - Whitehorse, Yukon
This musical float was circling the area entertaining people.

Pride Parade 2019 - Whitehorse, Yukon
Unicorns in many forms were a very popular item to bring, for both marchers and onlookers 🙂

Unicorn arriving at Pride Parade 2019 - Whitehorse, Yukon
The 3 paramedics and their 2 vehicles – the supervisor’s truck and an ambulance – were well decked out. The uniform enhancements were especially wonderful.

Pride Parade 2019 - Whitehorse, Yukon
The area rapidly got more and more colourful as people and floats kept arriving. I was starting to feel left out, with no good gear.

Pride Parade 2019 - Whitehorse, Yukon
The Parks Canada mascot, Parka, arrived with 2 ranger escorts.

Pride Parade 2019 - Whitehorse, Yukon
As the 1:15 parade start time neared, I went up to 3rd and Main where there are a couple of rainbow crosswalks that would make great foregrounds. I was hoping they’d be repainted for the event, but no such luck. Right on time, here they come 🙂

Pride Parade 2019 - Whitehorse, Yukon
There were organized groups from banks and other businesses, unions, and a wide range of organizations, as well as plenty of independent folks of all ages lending support.

Pride Parade 2019 - Whitehorse, Yukon

Pride Parade 2019 - Whitehorse, Yukon

Pride Parade 2019 - Whitehorse, Yukon

In the 30 years I’ve been here, I’ve always seen the Yukon as being exceptionally open to any lifestyle, and people can be whatever they want to be. What used to be known as the gay or LGB community is large and increasingly active, in Whitehorse particularly. I see that the initials have now grown in some quarters to LGBTTQQIAAP (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual, ally, pansexual) but really, can’t we all just get along? When I posted the initials, I initially left out the “A” for “ally” as I recently saw that lead to plenty of nasty online commentary, but then I put it back in because it is what it is.

Queer Yukon has been organizing Yukon Pride for the past 7 years. The parade this year is the highlight of a 6-day series of events called “24 Hours of Gaylight: Yukon Pride”. As of last year, Queer Yukon is a registered Society that “supports, promotes, and organizes events for the LGBTQ2S+ community and our allies in Whitehorse”.

Okay, let’s get back to the fun stuff! The musicians were still hard at it. The “CMHA” stands for the Canadian Mental Health Association, a supporter of Pride events across the country.

The Canadian Mental Health Association's musical float in Pride Parade 2019 - Whitehorse, Yukon
This is the age I like to see people understand what acceptance really looks like. Nice work, parents 🙂

Pride Parade 2019 - Whitehorse, Yukon
This marcher/dancer with lots of colour, a big unicorn, and a bubble-blower got my vote as the person having the most fun in the parade 🙂

Pride Parade 2019 - Whitehorse, Yukon
More photos of the Yukon EMS (Emergency Medical Services) supervisor’s truck just because they were so awesome 🙂

The Yukon EMS (Emergency Medical Services) supervisor's truck in Pride Parade 2019 - Whitehorse, Yukon

The Yukon EMS (Emergency Medical Services) supervisor's truck in Pride Parade 2019 - Whitehorse, Yukon

The almost-life-size pink moose was my favourite creation.

A pink moose in Pride Parade 2019 - Whitehorse, Yukon
There weren’t many guys being risqué – thumbs up to construction-dude (and the big guy on the Sourdough Rendezvous float)!

Pride Parade 2019 - Whitehorse, Yukon
They were even handing out rainbow candy! Well, sorta rainbow 🙂

Pride Parade 2019 - Whitehorse, Yukon
At the foot of Main, the parade split up, with marchers going down the waterfront trail and floats continuing on the roads.

Pride Parade 2019 - Whitehorse, Yukon
I met a couple of friends along the waterfront trail – Lucky Marshall and his mom. Thanks for the great photo, Sue! There aren’t many places in the Yukon I can wear my silk Tommy Bahama shirt 🙂

Murray Lundberg at Pride Parade 2019 - Whitehorse, Yukon - photo by Sue Gleason
Shipyards Park was the end of Pride Parade and the start of the party. The loop around the park where everyone gathered was called “Fruit Loop” for the event! I was hoping there would be a sign 🙂 Talking to Whitehorse Star photographer Vince Fedoroff at the park, I said “remember how frustrating it was to have to shoot even events like this in black-and-white for the newspaper?” Colour film would be mandatory here!

Pride Parade 2019 - Whitehorse, Yukon
Haha – one more photo of it!

Pride Parade 2019 - Whitehorse, Yukon
The party was going full-tilt when I headed home. Every now and then something happens that makes me particularly proud of this town. This was one of those days. The turnout for the Pride Parade, and the spirit shown by everyone, was incredible. You looked fabulous, Whitehorse!

Pride Parade 2019 - Whitehorse, Yukon

I spent a while on Amazon when I got home. Next year I’m going to have some great gear for the parade, and a neighbour has offered to help with stuff from her “Tickle Trunk”! 🙂




Comments

Pride Parade 2019 – you looked fabulous, Whitehorse! — 4 Comments

  1. Hi Murray,
    Great job !
    Been following your blog for a year now and have found it to be a very useful asset in planning our month long RV trip around B.C.
    We are a gay couple in out mid 50’s and early 60’s.
    So nice to know there are more people like yourself who are supportive of the LGBTQ community and heartily agree, why can’t we just all get along!

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