Local protesters received official recognition from the City of Edmonton for a year of efforts protesting hate speech.
More than 100 people gathered at the southeast corner of Whyte Avenue and 104 Street Friday night to celebrate a city of Edmonton proclamation recognizing the area as Pride Corner, where protesters held dance parties to counter preachers. street protests that, according to the organizers, have promoted homophobia and transphobia. points of view.
Amid the dancing, music, and occasional honks of support from passing drivers, Jade Connors joined the celebration by dancing and waving a pair of silk fans.
Over the past year, Connors said, the community supporting the effort has grown, prospered and welcomed queer youth into a reclaimed space so they feel safe and seen.
“It’s a space of hope and a space where the next generation will be much less challenged than the last,” Connors said.
In a 2017 update to its plan to prevent and end homelessness, the City of Edmonton recognized that LGBTQ2S+ youth are particularly vulnerable to housing instability and homelessness due to family conflict.
In a press release on Friday, Erica Posteraro, one of the organizers of Pride Corner, said the team behind the protest saw the need to push back against harmful narratives and create a space for homeless and queer youth to feel welcome. and express themselves freely.
“The positive power of having a safe space has allowed beautiful friendships to flourish,” Posteraro said, “and having an official proclamation tells us what every 2SLGBTQIA+ person needs to hear: that we are seen, heard, accepted and supported.”
Connors said the proclamation serves to recognize the time, energy and effort of advocates and community members who have consistently worked to counter hate.
“For the city to recognize that is a gift because it creates a queer space and describes some of our queer history in the city,” Connors said.
An online petition to officially recognize the Pride Corner has collected more than 10,600 signatures and aims to reach 15,000.
No street preaching was observed at the time of the celebration.