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Posted: May 7, 2015

Cranbrook Pride goal to showcase rainbow community

Cranbrook Pride is planning to celebrate the diversity of the rainbow community in Cranbrook on Saturday, May 23. In anticipation, organizers and volunteers have begun putting together a weekend of fun activities and entertainment.

The organizers of Cranbrook Pride, have put together an afternoon that includes a paid BBQ (provided by M&M Meat Shops) for youth and adults in Rotary Park, with workshops and activities to take part in, music for entertainment, and invited local dignitaries to give speeches.

Among those attending will be Mayor Lee Pratt and Cranbrook City Council, Ktunaxa Nation elders, and the Central Kootenay MP and MLA, in addition to Michelle Mungall, MLA Nelson-Creston and Wayne Stetski, NDP Candidate for Kootenay-Columbia.

In the early evening, for our community’s youth specifically, there’ll be an all-ages dance also held at Rotary Park, with music provided by a live DJ. For the adults, we’ve booked an evening of entertainment at Dewey’s Pub & Grill, also with a live DJ. Both M&M Meat Shop and Dewey’s Pub & Grill have agreed to donate a portion of their proceeds to Cranbrook Pride, to ensure the present and future success of this event in the community.

Cranbrook Pride this year is headed up by Kori and Steve Lancaster, Gary Dalton, Michelle Shewell, Tara Woods, and numerous, dedicated, and passionate volunteers.

Still excited from the success of 2014’s Weekend of Pride, they took it upon themselves to continue planning another pride event. From the initial discussion where it was determined there was an absolute need to repeat the Weekend of Pride, the organizers added an additional evening icebreaker event and a farewell brunch for the day after.

Our goal is to showcase Cranbrook’s rainbow community; build strong relationships among peers and allies, create opportunities to network, and demonstrate that Cranbrook is a warm, welcoming place, capable of supporting all members of the rainbow community with compassion, respect, and empathy.

According to the 2011 Williams Institute study by Gary G. Gates, titled, “How many people are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transsexual?” an estimated 3.5% of the US population identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual, and an estimated .3% of adults identify as transsexual.

According to the Kinsey Reports, published in 1953, an estimated 10% of any population could be identified as “predominantly homosexual.”

Given the most recent census data for Cranbrook, that would mean approximately 570 youth and 1,666 adults identify as either lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgendered. [Local] members of the rainbow community feel that these estimates are grossly underwhelming and a percentage between 18% and as high as 25% could identify anywhere in the spectrum outside of heteronormativity.

Kori Lancaster,

Organizer Cranbrook Pride

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