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Okanagan Pride Week organizers dealing with protestors at many events – Okanagan

Pride week wrapped up in the Okanagan Sunday with record numbers at each of the events.

“One of the [Kelowna Pride Society] board members said they thought there was about 15,000 people out yesterday for the march and the festival,” said  Wilbur Turner, president of Advocacy Canada.

However, the overwhelming amount of support came with protestors at almost every event.

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“People say that we’ve won all our rights (and ask) why do we have pride,” said Turner.

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“They feel they have a right to stand against human rights,” said Darrien ‘Dee’ McWatters, vice president of Advocacy Canada.

While the pride numbers outweighed the protesters, the ongoing protest is making some people fearful of attending events.

“For those that are vulnerable or more marginalized it can be triggering,” said McWatters. “For those who have strong advocacies and strong allies, just come out even louder, it is possible to ignore them.”

Global News reported last week, the drag community was experiencing an increase in hate on social media. Now Turner is saying any online content related to Pride Week is getting a significant amount of hate comments.

“There’s really quite horrible comments that we see we had a special Facebook post on Advocacy Canada for Pride that got quite a few really nasty comments that we have to go through and moderate,” said Turner.

A recent IPSOS poll revealed Canada is close to the global average when it comes to people supporting the 2SLGBTQIA+ community being open about their sexual orientation or gender identity but support is down 12 percent from 2021.


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