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Pride 2005 - no going back
By Clayton Timko, special to 24 hours Vancouver
An eclectic mix of colourful costumes and floats welcomed more than 100,000 people to the 27th annual Vancouver Pride Parade.
The parade kicked off at Barclay Street and made its way down Denman and Pacific Avenues before ending at Sunset beach.
The theme for this year's parade was 'no turning back.'
"The theme is a little more political," said media director for the Vancouver Pride Society Steven Schelling. "We can all celebrate federal ruling on gay marriage."
The event brings together members of the gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgender community with their friends, allies and supporters in a unique celebration of their culture and spirit.
Jamie Jaegel came up to Vancouver from Seattle for the event and prefers Vancouver's pride parade to Seattle's.
"It's a lot more creative and I noticed a lot more decorations," said Jaegel. "This is a festival for everyone, not just limited to the gay community."
This year's parade included a gang of motorcyclists, firefighters shooting water into the crowd and spray-painted men and women.
Melanie McCready of Bowen Island didn't expect to see young children in the parade.
"I was surprised and thought it was cute that there was a day camp in the parade," said McCready.
South Asian gays, lesbians come out for parade
Last updated Aug 1 2005 08:52 AM PDT
A South Asian gay and lesbian group came out for the first time to Vancouver's gay pride parade Sunday.
Organizers say "Tree-cone" is the first homosexual South Asian group in the city that actively includes lesbian women.
Fatima Jaffer says in the past these groups have been aimed mainly at gay men and the AIDS movement.
She says Tree-cone's focus is on culture, which is why their first parade displayed a Bollywood float.
Marchers were to wear colourful saris and Punjabi suits, and dance to popular Bollywood film music.
Jaffer says the message is that people don't have to shed their ethnicity when they choose to come out.
"Being in the march gives us an exposure and enables people who are not able to march with us that that is possible, that we can embrace ourselves as South Asian and be gay and lesbian."
Jaffer says many South Asians feel they must shed their roots because much of Indian culture takes a hard line on homosexuality.
She says many Indians in Vancouver who are gay hide it– and although some have signed up on Jaffer's confidential email list– she doubted many of them will join the parade.
"They're worried about their friends and family finding out that they're queer, and actively flaunting their sexually and unashamedly marching," she says.
Jaffer is hoping those who do march are shown support by the general South Asian population, most whom live in Surrey.
Jaffer says that community is known to be ultra-conservative by Indian groups across North America.