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Timmins Pride celebrates 10th anniversary with rally and parade

The annual Timmins Pride Rally and Parade in Timmins is celebrating a milestone -- its 10th anniversary.

Canada Pride President Julie Nobert remembers when people had to celebrate their diversity in private and is grateful to be out in the open.

But being out in the open also presents safety concerns for people at Pride events, and that’s why Timmins Pride organizers chose to do things differently this year.

Every year, organizers bring in drag show performers and this year was no different, but those performers did not attend the rally in the park. They entertained an all-inclusive crowd the night before.

"They’ve been at the rally every year for 10 years but because of all the online hate that we’ve experienced, we needed to ensure that this was going to be a safe space for all the families and for all the folks," said Nobert.

"We made the decision with the drag queens that we couldn’t do it."

Timmins Pride, like other Pride organizations in the country recently received a portion of $1.5 million in federal funding this month to help them combat hate.

In the past week, the local organization held a number of activities, including information sessions and hired extra security. Nobert said she hopes people can learn to be more accepting.

"There was one song last night called the village and the problem is the village … and the preconceived notions of gender and what that’s supposed to look like," she said.

"The reality is only you know who you are and you can determine that and that can change from day to day."

Not everyone agrees with what Pride represents and a protestor on a street corner with a megaphone tried to encourage people to ‘repent,’ but his remarks were drowned out by the parade's music.

Sister Sledge's 'We Are Family' was playing. 

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