Pride event hosted on rainbow bridge in Prince Rupert.
A couple from Prince Rupert put together the city’s first pride event on Saturday, June 19th.
Kyle Hilliard and Angelo Octaviano, who are both members of Prince Rupert Pride, initially invited a small group of friends to a casual photo shoot at the rainbow-coloured pedestrial bridge in Cow Bay. As the day came closer, enthusiasm for the event started to rise and they invited more people to attend.
“It ended up being a really fun dance party,” said Octaviano. “We took lots of great photos, everyone was really happy and having so much fun and living their best life.”
“We would make a little runway for people to walk by and we were getting pedestrians to dance with us,” said Hilliard. “People walking by were giving us thumbs ups and were hooting and hollering.
Hilliard says the Prince Rupert queer community is larger than one might think, but it doesn’t have enough venues or opportunities for proper visibility. He says the event on Saturday shows there’s a demand for LGBTQ-oriented events in the city.
“Hopefully it’s the start of something where we can see a little bit more visibility in town. There definitely is a queer community here, and it would be great to have more space and more visibility for them to come together and realize you’re not alone as you think”
Octaviano, who grew up in Prince Rupert, says he finds that Prince Rupert in 2021 is ultimately an accepting place for queer individuals, even if there’s always more that could be done.
“I’m noticing there’s a lot of businesses that have these stickers that are like rainbows next to their windows – that’s tremendous support,” he said.
“I think it could be more, but I also feel like, just holding hands with my partner Kyle out in public, we haven’t had any issues with that. I can confidently say that I feel safe around him in this town.”
Moving forward, Octaviano and Hill hint they plan to hold future events like this down the road – and possibly even one later this summer.
“I think it just goes to show, like, how successful this was for something we barely put that much thought into, imagine what we could accomplish if we got so many other people with different ideas and the drive to want to do something,” said Hilliard.