Image courtesy of Vancouver U.S.A Pride
For 41 years Washingtonians have traveled to attend Portland’s annual Pride Parade, hosting over 50,000 attendees since 2016. On July 14, a lesser-known pride celebration will take place on this side of the river. For the last 25 years, Vancouver’s LGBTQ community has gathered for its own local celebration of pride. Saturday in the Park Pride, also known as SITPPride, organizes the event, now known as “Vancouver U.S.A. Pride.” Taking place in Esther Short Park, the event starts at 11 a.m. and lasts until 5 p.m. SITPPride calls on the LGBTQ community to “make a difference in our local lives through volunteering and sharing your knowledge and experience.” Vender booths will be on site offering information about employment, health and fitness, education and medical testing specifically tailored to the LGBTQ community. The Cougar Pride Club here at WSU Vancouver have plans to conduct a charity event of their own, pending confirmation with SITPPride event organizers. Colten Sullivent, a third year computer science major and Cougar Pride Club leadership team member describes the club’s plan to use this local event
to affect a more distant member of the community. “Our intent is to attend and have a place to sell rainbow ribbons,” Sullivent explains, “The proceeds will be donated to Aaron Salazar, the gay, Latino PSU student who was brutally attacked while traveling home in northern California.”
“we have to remember to keep fighting the day after the event.
and the day after that.”
Proceeds from the Vancouver U.S.A. Pride event will fund Bonnie J. Tinker Scholarships, a program established by STIPPride in 2012. The scholarships pay $500 to $2000 to local members of the LGBTQ community whom are “working to promote social justice, equity, or inclusivity for the LGBTQ community.” The organization is also facilitating smaller events throughout the day. Lyle’s Myles 5K run and
walk will kick off at 7:30 a.m., raising funds for HIV and AIDS services and support, along with the DYKE March starting at 10:45 a.m. The march is sponsored by L-Connection, a Vancouver based social meetup organization serving the lesbian community. City of Vancouver Special Events staff member, Sean Douglas says the city is ready to accommodate a larger event if attendance grows. Last year, Saturday in the Park Pride Organization submitted an application for 750 participants. “They are expecting an estimated 1100, this year,” Douglas explained. “Annual pride events like this help us to build a stronger community, enabling us to tackle that hostility openly and productively,” Sullivent says, opening up about his experiences with homophobia growing up in Vancouver. He expressed enthusiasm for the event, but also has a larger effort in mind. “We have to remember to keep fighting the day after the event. And the day after that,” Sullivent proclaims. For more information on Saturday in the Park Pride, visit sitppride.org. Enroll in the Lyle’s Myles 5K run and walk by visiting runsignup.com. For more information on DYKE March, visit their Facebook event page.