A few years ago an ad hoc group of volunteers created and organized a Pride dance on the Sunshine Coast, joining many other lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) celebrations across the country. This year’s Pride dance on June 27 at the Roberts Creek Hall is also put together by enthusiastic volunteers, but the celebrations have blossomed into three events that start on Thursday, June 25 with Read Out Loud, a queer literary salon at the Sunshine Coast Arts Centre at 7:30 in Sechelt.
“We picked a diverse sampling of readers according to people’s background and ages for the salon,” said organizer Andrea Routley, who will be reading from her own acclaimed collection of short stories, Jane and the Whales. The Coast’s Bertha Clark (Adelene da soul poet) also reads, as does fantasy writer Sam Markham and poet, scholar and critic-in-residence for a group called Canadian Women in Literary Arts, Lucas Crawford.
“I had the fortune of seeing Lucas do his thing at Swoon Reading Series in Vancouver last November, and wow!” Routley said. “He had the audience totally glued to his every word.”
Writer Anna Nobile hosts the evening. The evening is a celebration, Routley added, with plenty of prizes including tickets to events at this year’s Festival of the Written Arts. A suggested donation of $5 gets you in the door and includes a print copy of Plenitude, Canada’s queer literary magazine that has connections with the Coast.
Then on Friday, June 26, Queer Projections, a Coast film group that aims to bring films to the Coast in order to promote LGBTQ visibility and encourage communication, presents Two4One, an award-winning, romantic comedy by film-maker Maureen Bradley to be shown at the Heritage Playhouse, Gibsons, at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, June 26. Tickets are $10 at the door or online at outonthecoast.ca
“I was born Melanie, and then four years ago I switched, and now I’m Adam.” So says Gavin Crawford in the role of transgender Adam, matter-of-factly relating his story to the guys. But Adam’s life is complicated when he helps his ex-partner artificially inseminate and they both wind up pregnant. Can Adam face motherhood and still be one of the boys? The film should appeal to gay or straight.
Why this time of year for pride celebrations? On June 28, 1969, police once again raided a gay bar called Stonewall in New York, but this time protesters took to the streets to rise up against the ongoing harassment. Stonewall was the inciting incident that sparked what was then called the gay liberation movement and it gave rise to the modern fight for LGBTQ rights.
Laurie Lesk is helping to organize this year’s Pride dance on Saturday, June 27 in commemoration of Stonewall.
“It’s 99 per cent pure dance,” she said, adding that the other one per cent is the entertaining actor Seth Little. And maybe the kissing booth is also part of the one per cent – a popular addition to the event. Tickets for $20 (ages 19 plus) for the dance are on sale now at MELOmania, More Café, 420 Hemp Shop and Gaia’s Fair Trade or online at SunshineCoastPride.com
Organizers are still looking for volunteers for short shifts at the dance. If you’d like to help, contact email@example.com for more.