MUSKOKA, ONTARIO – July 21st , 2014 – For the first time ever, all of the communities in Muskoka are raising the Rainbow Pride flag to recognize Muskoka Pride Week which runs July 18 – 27.
This is the first year that the Townships of Muskoka Lakes, Georgian Bay, and Lake of Bays have raised the Rainbow Pride flag. The towns of Huntsville, Bracebridge, and Gravenhurst have been raising the flag for several years.
The Rainbow Flag symbolizes the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer) community with the different colours representing the diverse groups.
For Heather Hay, Chairperson of Muskoka Pride, the flag raisings are a symbol of acceptance of the LGBT population of Muskoka. “It says to the people in Muskoka that our community is diverse and inclusive, an important message for residents and visitors.”
Hay stressed the need for the flag raising’s visibility within Muskoka. “It’s important for young people to see it and know that they’re welcome in their own community.”
“It is significant that all communities of Muskoka are recognizing Pride Week this year,” says board member Shawn Forth, “because there are LGBTQ residents all over Muskoka, who want to feel supported by their town.”
Having grown up in Muskoka, he understands the feeling of isolation that comes with thinking you are alone. “Visibility is important for the LGBTQ community so that you don’t isolated. Pride Week is not just about tolerance and acceptance – it’s about celebrating the rich diversity in our community.”
Muskoka Pride Week continues with window displays in local businesses, a photo contest, and events each day throughout Muskoka. The week concludes on Sunday July 27th with the 6th annual Muskoka Pride Picnic at Annie Williams Park in Bracebridge.
For further information about all events, go to www.muskokapride.com or visit the Muskoka Pride Facebook Page www.facebook.com/muskokapride