HUMBOLDT — Pride Week is returning to Humboldt, with a wide variety of activities for LGBTQ+ people and their allies.
The celebration runs from Aug. 19 to 24.
Rev. Matteo Carboni, from the Parish of Humboldt for the Anglican Diocese of Saskatoon, is one of the Pride committee organizers.
“Normally the diversity service is held at one of the churches, usually the Westminster United Church on the Sunday morning,” Carboni said. “This year what we’ve decided to do is we should have it in a more public place and not on a Sunday so more people can attend.”
He said by not having it at a church, the service will be visible to more people.
“We’re also included a more diverse group of Christians and people at that service.”
Carboni said Pride is an opportunity for community members to come out and meet people they wouldn’t normally.
He hopes people can learn from each other during pride and be able to be comfortable to open up to one another.
“Humboldt is experiencing immigration, it’s growing. People are moving to the area and one of the great things about Pride Week is that you get to celebrate diversity, part of it specifically talks about LGBTQ diversity, gender and sexual orientation – but it also gives us a chance to really question, think about diversity in general. What does living as a human in a really close world with other people mean? How do we build a safe community where everyone feels respected?”
Carboni said his congregation has been getting more active in Pride during the recent years.
Pride Week has been around in Humboldt since 2015.
“Our church, you probably heard from the news, continues to struggle with the relationship of LGBTQ Anglicans and the LGBTQ community. So we have our own denomination, we sometimes have to be a little careful how involved we actually are. But generally, when we were asked in the past to participate, we’ve been more than happy to.”
Rev. Brenda Curtis, with Westminster United Church, said the difficult relationship is true for the United Church as well.
Curtis is another Pride committee organizer.
“We’ve been affirming for 30-some years but we’ve just recently given an apology to the LGBTQ community for the way they’ve been treated over those 30 years,” Curtis said. “Just because it’s a national policy that we’re affirming, it isn’t always on the ground in the same way.”
She said that while some churches have an environment where everybody is loved and accepted, that isn’t always the case.
“I think that’s another reason we need to stand up, and stand up during Pride time and say, ‘that’s not all Christians preaching that kind of hatred and anger.’”
She said Humboldt Pride is currently expanding with more people getting involved, and that’s hopeful for her.
“From a philosophical standpoint we agree with the pride philosophy and the whole message of diversity and I think Humboldt would really benefit from a Pride Week, and that’s why we’re doing it,” Curtis said.
“I think it just calls us to think about diversity and how we treat our neighbors and our friends and other people in this community. So I think any community would benefit from a Pride Week. So for us, I think it’s a good thing to do.”
Curtis said despite Humboldt Pride not having a parade yet, she is sure it will in the years to come.
“Even though I don’t think we’re right at the place where we can host a parade, because it takes a fair bit of involvement, and manpower and labor and volunteers, but I think we’re getting closer. Which is really hopeful. Three or four years ago I didn’t think we’d ever get this close.”
On Aug. 19, the events start off with a flag raising at City Hall at noon. At 6:30 pm, there is a prayer service at Civic Park.
On Aug. 20, there is a coffee house at Westminster United for youth 18 and under.
On Aug. 22, there is rainbow bowling at Kemway Lanes.
On, Aug. 23 and Aug. 24 there will be a booth at StreetFest for people to come and ask questions. There will also be rainbow baking and a button maker.