TRU shows their pride at 12th annual Pride Parade

TRU hosted its 12th annual Pride Parade at 11:00 am on Wednesday. The Pride Parade welcomed members of the LGBT2SQIA+ community as well as allies and supporters to march together and show off their pride. The Equity Committee wanted this event to serve as a reminder that showing support is incredibly important, especially as hostility towards the LGBT2SQIA+ community continues to remain an issue globally.

The Pride Parade, a tradition at TRU since 2011, is designed to celebrate the identities of students and staff on campus. Everyone was encouraged to join the event, regardless of background, religion or orientation. The parade’s route was a circle around the campus commons where the event was viewable by many students and staff members. Studying students looked out of their windows and waved at the parade as it passed through the campus. 

The event kicked off in front of Old Main in the courtyard. Loud upbeat music encouraged passersby to join the crowd and signs with pride flags on them were offered to anyone that wanted one. Before the parade started, various speakers were welcomed to the stage. 

Monalisa Hazarika, an Equity Committee Representative, started the event by welcoming everyone and thanking them for coming to celebrate pride together. All of the speeches were heartfelt, some speakers shared personal experiences and stories while others shared words of encouragement to the crowd. 

Ashton O’Brien, director of resources at the Kamloops Pride society, explained the importance of pride events like TRU’s Pride Parade, especially when hate is still so prominent in the world. 

“I am so tired,” O’Brien said. “We are tired of fighting.” 

O’Brien said that they wished to remind members of the LGBT2SQIA+ community – and its allies – to allow themselves the space to feel the hurt that is caused by hate but also to not let it weigh them down.

The Pride Parade offered a space to support the diverse group of students and staff at TRU. Many professors, students, locals and even their dogs gathered together to show their support and pride proving that the parade is an important event to the community of Kamloops.

“An event like this lets people feel less alone,” said Alex Duarosan, accessibility representative for the equity committee. When asked about the role of allies in the community, Duarosan explained the importance of allyship and the role it plays in pride events as well as in everyday life. 

“Allies are important. Even if you’re not a member of the [LGBT2SQIA+] community, support is important. Allies help in feeling comfortable expressing yourself,” Duarosan said.

Support at the event was shown through the cheers, laughs, colourful outfits and pride signs. The event concluded where it started, at the yard in front of Old Main. A small dance party broke out before the attendees went their separate ways, concluding another TRU Pride Parade.