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Kelowna  

Castanet asks residents what Pride means to them at 'Drag Brunch'

Meaning of Pride to LGBTQ

Sarita Patel

With pride celebrations being cancelled globally due to the pandemic, including Kelowna Pride, members and allies of the LGBTQ+ community have found creative ways to celebrate. 

With Pride Month winding down this week, Castanet spoke to residents to see what Pride means to them. 

“Allowing yourself to be free, to be who you are even if there’s pressure and if you’re over experiencing hatred,” explains Connor Daoust, a member of the LGBTQ+ community. “It’s about having the courage to be who you are authentically.”

Grant Sonnenberg tells Castanet he recently came out and knows the importance of being loud and proud. 

“For so long, just on how I was raised, it was like personal stuff about me was suppose to be not a big deal, it’s about what you do, it’s not necessarily about what who you are, but when I got it affirmed - coming out is a big deal, being okay with yourself is a big deal.”

“Pride in Kelowna has grown in such a way to create a safe and open space for people to just be who they are and have a good time,” says Ella Lamoureux, drag performer at Friends of Dorothy Lounge

While some still stare, Lamoureux says Kelowna is becoming more accepting and filled with allies.

"You’re surrounded by hundreds of people, so their one stare means nothing when you’re surrounded by the family you choose and love.”

Chef at FOD Lounge,Mac Corry compares pride to what we see in nature. 

“We call a group of lions a pride, and they’re stronger, so that’s what it means to me being stronger together and being proud of who you are.”

Friends of Dorothy Lounge host a weekly ‘Drag Brunch’ on Sundays at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., giving the public a way to celebrate pride all year long

“There aren't many things I’ll get out of bed early in the morning for but ‘Drag Brunch’ [is] definitely worth it. Ella’s amazing and the cocktails, the food - it’s all good,” adds Corry. 

Lamoureux performs both during night shows and afternoon shows and says the more inclusive the city gets the more performers want to come out and entertain. 

“Even though the atmosphere may be a little different, it’s still a fun, safe pace to come have a good time and they know they’re coming here for a good meal and a fun show and if I can at least give a slight little smile on a hungover Sunday - I’m here for it.”

FOD Lounge is still the only LGBQT+ bar in Kelowna and Corry says it's an important destination spot in the Okanagan.

“We have people from all over the world coming here, and a lot of LGBTQ visitors, and we now have a place for them to enjoy and be themselves.”

“Anyone that comes here has a good time and leaves - they’re blazing a trail of acceptance. You’re just coming to who you are, come here, you’re going to have support and love - no ones going to judge,” adds Lamoureaux. 

Kelowna Pride has postponed their celebrations tentatively to Sept. 19 to 27.



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