HUMBOLDT — A week celebrating gender and sexual diversity in Humboldt is expected to be bigger than ever.
“We keep adding more and more events every year to our Pride Week,” said Andrew Matheson, the chair of the Humboldt & Area Pride Network. “It’s great to see that growth in popularity as well as interest from people within the community of Humboldt and surrounding areas.”
Pride Week starts on Monday, May 31 and will go until Saturday, June 5.
The week begins with a pride flag raising on May 31 at noon, which will be streamed online. That evening, at 7 p.m. Fran Forsberg, an advocate for trans and gender diverse youth in Saskatchewan, will be giving a talk on Zoom on caring for gender and sexual diverse people in peoples’ lives
June 1 will see a Rainbow Coffee event in conjunction with the Humboldt Museum and Gallery at 7 p.m. It will be a weaving art virtual workshop.
June 2 will have a diversity pride worship service streamed by Westminster United Church and St. Andrew's Anglican Church at 7 p.m.
June 3 will have a talent night at 7 p.m. featuring local talent.
On June 4, there will be the Drag Me Across Saskatchewan drag show performed by the YXE Drag Collective.
“This is super exciting,” Matheson said. “It shows how far we've come with diversity in the city of Humboldt, on being welcoming and accepting, and enjoying some great art as well.”
Matheson said Humboldt Pride has been interested in putting on a drag show for a number of years, but since nobody had any connections with any performers, it never went ahead. This year, the YXE Drag Collective contacted Humboldt Pride and they jumped at the chance.
The show will be in the Humboldt Uniplex North parking lot, with an all-ages event at 7 p.m. and a 16+ event at 9 p.m.
Every noon from June 1 to 5, there will be a story time video.
“They're just quick little life stories that celebrate inclusivity and diversity that people can enjoy at lunchtime as well that are just great little tidbits of enjoyment for everyone,” Matheson said.
Tickets to all events can be procured at Humboldt Pride’s Facebook page at facebook.com/HumboldtSKPride.
Matheson said Pride Week is important to mark because it’s a chance to educate, advocate and celebrate.
“It’s a way for us to have that time to educate people on how we can do better as humans, how we can be respectful towards one another, and in respecting people's pronouns.”
Matheson said Humboldt has progressed by ‘leaps and bounds’ in the last few years when it comes to understanding diversity. He said the Humboldt Museum and Gallery is willing to host events and they’ve forged partnerships with organizations like the Saskatchewan Health Authority and Partners Family Services.
“There's all these different supports that always come to us and say they want to celebrate diversity and be included in the advocacy work that we do.”
In what’s turning into Humboldt Pride’s main fundraiser, businesses are buying pride flags to display in their windows.
“The goal with that is being able to show in a rural community that everyone is welcome and everyone is supported no matter how they identify or what their sexual orientation is,” Matheson said.
“It means a lot to – youth especially – but everyone. If there's people coming to our communities that want to go and buy clothes and they identify within the queer community and they see a pride flag in their window, they're going to come in and feel welcomed in that business.”