News — 20 July 2011
BJ Maggrah says it’s an idea whose time has come for Dryden.
Maggrah and The Dryden Gay Pride Committee are rallying support for a two-day event that would include a bowling tournament, a parade, guest speakers, a fashion show and a social among others.
The first annual event would take place June 27-28, 2012.
Maggrah says gay pride events are typically scheduled at the end of June to commemorate the Stonewall Riots — a series of demonstrations against a 1969 police raid on the Stonewall Inn, a gay friendly establishment in New York City. The incident is considered by many to be the birth of the gay rights movement.
After 43 years of progress for gay rights in North America, Maggrah says a small lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) community in Dryden is still living mostly underground and out-of-sight.
“As far as gay rights have been concerned a lot has been accomplished,” said Maggrah. “We don’t go to jail for it anymore, we have the right to same-sex marriage. However, LGBT people in small towns face a lot of stigma and often a hostile atmosphere.”
Aware of his own same-sex feelings at age 10, Maggrah says his childhood spent in Ear Falls and later Dryden was difficult. Coming out to friends and family at age 23, he says being openly gay in a small town still has its share of difficulties. Maggrah says gay youth in rural or isolated communities need more support than they’ve traditionally received.
“This whole event is about trying to educate the community about who we are, the problems and issues we face and what we all can do about it,” he said.
One of the Dryden event’s guest speakers will focus on issues surrounding the northern LGBT experience. After her gay son Gabe faced abuse at the hands of his fellow students, Lakehead School Board staffer Ellen Chambers Picard launched a five-year campaign to make Thunder Bay schools inclusive, safe and welcoming to LGBT students. Along with former Pinewood teacher and Dryden resident Rachel Mishenene, they recently organized Thunder Bay’s first Pride event this year.
Maggrah says the committee hopes to gain the blessing and support of Dryden city council and aims to see the rainbow flag, symbolic of the LGBT community, raised at City Hall during the event.
Maggrah says he is under no illusions that Dryden is indeed a fairly conservative community. While he’s sure it won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, he hopes Dryden reacts in a positive manner to what the pride committee is hoping to do.
“What I hear the most is, ‘what do I tell my kids?’,” said Maggrah. “That part of it is difficult and very complex, I won’t deny it. But it’s almost unavoidable these days. And if I had a parent, or someone that told me it was okay to be who I am, I would be much a better person today for it.”
“Another thing I hear is, “So you’re gay, why parade about it? The reason I give for that is because of what we’ve been through. We’re embracing where we came from. It’s a day where we celebrate and look back on the people who fought for our rights.”
By Chris Marchand

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(6) Readers Comments

  1. Very excited about this, the time has definitely come for Dryden to hop on board official pride celebrations! I just wanted to suggest using the LGBT acronym or simply using “pride” in the parade’s title as well as the committee name as to not exclude the L, B and T of the umbrella term. Some may find the usage of the term/title “gay pride” limiting to only homosexual men in which case lesbian women, and both bisexual and trans people may not feel included in such celebrations. Just a suggestion in hopes that both the committee and parade can be as inclusive and welcoming as possible! 🙂

  2. Hmmmm, you’ve caught my attention . . .

    Chris, yep about the condeming; I used to read the Bible, but now, just lead my life hoping not to break one of the 10 commandments.

    El Zorro, okay, you mentioned the Bible AND Moses . . . thinking we should add one more little diddy . . .

    Matthew 7:12
    Taken from the GOD’s WORD ® Translation (© 1995)
    “Always do for other people everything you want them to do for you. That is [the meaning of] Moses’ Teachings and the Prophets.

    AND, my opinion, wanna have a Gay Pride Festival and or Parade, let’s do it and have some fun. It is year 2011, chillax already.

  3. Sorry, not against any particular area of mankind. I can tolerate people with different personal outlooks. Mankind can change what ever laws they deem fit to accomodate different interest groups. But at the end of the day, when our times up, the man upstairs will judge us all according to his rules (not ours), that he laid down to humans to Moses thousands of years ago.
    The “Big Bang Theory”, it’s just that, “a theory”. Science hasn’t proved anything in this area except that some parts of the universe are colder than others in a 2D format, not a 3D format or any other kind of format. They have done this from one small point in the universe that has many barriers between it and the greater cosmos. The Bible doesn’t say “Man join man be fruitful and multiply” because they can’t. The Bible doesn’t say “Woman join woman be fruitful and multipy” because they can’t.
    My Bible, given to my family union by various businesses of Dryden, Gen 2:24 says:-
    “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall
    cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
    And they were both naked , the man and his wife, and were not ashamed”
    Not condemning anyone, just telling you like it is.
    Have a nice day.

    • Hmmm, It sounds a lot to me like you ARE condemning. I don’t think anyone needs a refresher on what the bible says on the matter, the question is whether or not anyone really cares what the bible says. I’m just telling you like it is.

      • Hmm! I’m guessing you don’t like Biblical quotes. So try this quote from Michael Nostradamus:-
        C1Q2
        The divining wand in hand is placed in the middle of BRANCHUS:
        With water he moistens the arm and feet:
        Fear! A voice quivers through his long sleeves:
        Splendor Divine. The divine one sits nearby.

        I’m citing this verse so that you and others may reconsider reading the Bible, and know that God does exist. I could have cited many other verses from his writings which reflect the future decadence of mankind.
        If you believe in the ‘”Theory” of Evolution’, you should also be aware that according to eminent scientists in that field, that there is not enough time in the total timeline of human evolution to account for the size of modern human’s brains.
        Yeah! And like I’m not going to get my bum smacked, when my days are done.
        Have a nice day.

        • Okay, whatever…I’m shutting this thread down before we get any deeper into matters of religion.