It’s officially Pride Month! Celebrating your identity can be exciting, scary, or confusing for many people. Whether you’re out or not, it’s your month to celebrate! As a queer student, finding places where you fit in and feel accepted is essential. Many people think that the only way to celebrate Pride is the annual parade in Toronto; however, that is not the case. The Region of Waterloo is a great place to celebrate Pride. There are many events and places to visit to find your community and celebrate your identity. Get out your summer checklist before diving into Imprint’s Pride rundown!
Pride at Glow
One great way to celebrate Pride is to get involved with UW’s Glow Centre. The Glow Centre is a student-run service that supports the university’s 2SLGBTQIA+ students throughout the year. Glow has weekly events during Pride Month such as board game nights every Tuesday, Tea Time Talks every Wednesday, and Movie and Music nights every Thursday. These events allow you to meet other queer students and make long-lasting friendships. One big event that Glow has planned is for students to march with them at the Toronto Pride Parade on June 25. Individuals can purchase tickets to attend the parade with Glow and celebrate with the Waterloo community in Toronto. The Glow Centre supports their students year-round, so being a part of the Glow community is also a great way to celebrate your sexual orientation and gender identity all year.
Follow Glow on Instagram at @uwglow to stay up to date with all the creative and fun events they have planned.
Missed tri-Pride or looking for more celebrations? Woolwich Township is hosting its first-ever Pride celebration on June 17 at Gibson Park in Elmira. Running from 1 to 4 p.m., the celebration will feature local vendors, music, food, face-painting, a photo booth, and more. The event is free and family-friendly.
The Robin’s Nest Revisited
Learning about local queer history is another great way to celebrate Pride. On June 24, an informative event will be held at the site of the Robin’s Nest (26 Hobson St. in Cambridge), a lesbian bar that has been open for over 30 years. The event, which runs from 1 to 4 p.m., will allow attendees to learn about the importance of this space and meet independent filmmaker Chris Vatour, who is making a documentary about the history of the Robin’s Nest. People of all ages are welcome to attend and hear others’ stories, win prizes, and listen to music.
The Waterloo region has many great 2SLGBTQIA+ organizations that are hosting amazing events, SPECTRUM being one of them. SPECTRUM is hosting a fundraising gala on June 29 that includes dinner and a headlining performance by Canadian comedian Martha Chaves. The event will be held at the Ken Seiling Waterloo Region Museum and tickets can be purchased online. The proceeds of this event go towards funding services SPECTRUM provides for the 2SLGBTQIA+ community of Waterloo.
Speed Friending — Pride Edition
Pride Month is a perfect time to meet new people and connect with friends. There are many opportunities for this in KW, such as the Speed Friending event held on June 20 at Cafe Pyrus. Located in downtown Kitchener, Cafe Pyrus is hosting a Pride edition of their recurring Speed Friending event, specifically intended for members of the 2SLGBTQ+ community who are 25-40 years old. Participants will rotate through one-on-one conversations with others, and later be sent contact information based on who they connect with. Ticket sales are online and pay-by-donation, with proceeds going to SPECTRUM.
If you’re not looking for an event, but rather a safe space, there are also many places within the KW region to choose from. If you’re in downtown Kitchener, you have to check out places like Darlise Cafe or Cafe Pyrus which have either hosted 2SLGBTQIA+ events or have gender-neutral washrooms. If you’re in Uptown, you’ll want to visit places like The Jane Bond or Seven Shores which have also been dubbed “2SLGBTQIA+ friendly spaces” by the Kitchener Public Library.
While June is a month of celebration and festivities, it is also a month of reflection. A great thing about the KW region is that there are many opportunities to find a local community that accepts you. It’s important to share the love and acceptance we receive with others because that is what this month is about. Celebrating Pride is about sharing your love with the people around you, loud and proud.