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1988 Pride March

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It was in a context of no legal protections but growing unrest about rampant prejudice and discrimination, that Halifax’s "gay and lesbian" community organized its first Pride Week in 1988. As part of that Pride Week, on July 1, 1988, they held a Pride March; a protest march – no floats or corporate sponsors – protesting the lack of legal protection from discrimination, and protesting the all-too-common threat of homophobic violence. About 75 people marched, and a handful of them wore paper bags over their heads, not out of shame, but out of the very real fear for their livelihoods, and even possibly their safety.

People who were there: TumaYoung?, RobinMetcalfe, SaraAvMaat?, MaureenShebib, AnneBishop, AnitaMartinez, LeeAnneTeal?, FredWells?, Hazen, Julie, "TJ" EricSmith, JJLyon, RegGiles, MikeSangster?, LynnMurphy, MichaelWeir?, maybe KevinCrombie? add your name here

Video: ScottMacNeil, who was Rumours bar manager at the time, says that JimDeYoung had taped the community variety show that happened during this Pride celebration.

In 2012, ChrisAucoin created an exhibit of events from 1988. See Hfx.Pride88 History Exhibit.

Memories

AnneBishop writes: My memory was that the 1988 march was organized in part by LGRNS, which was chaired by me and Maureen Shebib at the time. I was one of the pre-march speakers. I remember walking down Agricola St with Jan and a group of friends to join the march discussing how many people would be too few. In other words, if there were only ten people, or a dozen, or whatever, would it be unsafe and look ridiculous? Should I use my speech as an opportunity to propose we go to a coffee shop, toast our effort and start planning for something bigger the next year? I remember my relief when we rounded the final bend and saw +-150 people milling about waiting for the march to start. Whew!

TumaYoung? writes: Michael Weir who took an big risk marching as he was an american and had to marry a lesbian to be allowed to stay in Canada. There were some folks from Gays and Lesbians at Dal; that's how I learned about the march. I remember being scared that someone would attack us that I kept trying to be in the middle."

This page is about one of the PrideCelebrations