Pride 2017

 SHOUT Newsletter for June/July

The upcoming months will celebrate PRIDE in Saskatoon, we will also remember the past, present, and future in our communities. 

2017 marks 25 years of OUTSaskatoon and Saskatoon Pride Festival.



Let me tell you a bit about the history of the Pride flag. In 1978, Gilbert Baker, a San Franciscan artist hand-dyed a rainbow flag to be used as a symbol for the LGBTQ community.  The first flag had eight colours: hot pink (woo hoo!), red, orange, yellow, green, turquoise, indigo, and violet, but by the following year, hot pink was removed, turquoise and Indigo were combined to make blue, and out came the bold six-striped flag we know today. Drawing on the natural magic of Rainbows, the flag called for pride in being who we are, hope for a future that is better, and recognition for a diverse and vibrant community. Today, 39 years later, the Rainbow Flag still represents these powerful messages, and its legacy has been re-mixed to create trans, two spirit, bi, pan, genderqueer, and many other flags. Each of these tap into the power of colour as a means of expression and of celebration and they also draw on the role of the “flag” itself as a means of communication and an indicator of identity. Our community of flags create identity for those whose identities aren’t accepted, belonging for those who grew up feeling lost, and permission for us to truly take up space.

Over the last few days in Saskatoon, we have felt immense joy and immense sorrow as we witnessed the installation of a Rainbow Crosswalk in front of city hall, and then its immediate vandalism. The reason this strikes so close to the heart has very little to do with that small piece of road, but rather to do with the disappointment we feel in seeing the magical symbol that draws us in—to a room, to a store, to a new friend—lose its feeling of safety.

I assure you, however, that the magic is not lost. The Rainbow Flag still flies strong and in just a few days we will join together as a community to raise one proudly in front of City Hall. It is our resilience that saves us, again and again. And together we are teaching others to grow, to understand difference, and to truly love diversity. Be proud my friends and be magical, because PRIDE awaits!

Rachel Loewen Walker


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