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Texada Island rocks with Pride

Annual island LGBT weekend celebration features multiple events
Texada pride
TEXADA PRIDE: Members of Texada Island’s LGBT and allies community will be celebrating this coming weekend during their annual Texada Rock in Pride event. Contributed photo

Texada Rock in Pride could be the smallest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community Pride celebration in all of BC. The third annual event takes place Friday, August 19, through Sunday, August 21.

“There were three of us who started it,” said organizer and founder Joseph Scott. “Myself, my partner Daniel Rucks and a woman on the island who gets involved in most things, George Childress.”

According to Scott, when they arrived 14 years ago, he and Rucks were probably the first openly gay couple on Texada.

“That raised a lot of eyebrows,” said Scott. “I have found this to be the most accepting and safe-feeling community I have ever lived in. There are a lot more allies than one could ever anticipate.”

Scott said those allies become involved with and join in Pride celebrations on the small, isolated island. Texada is far removed from where he first came out in Toronto in the 1980s, he said.

“I was part of the movement of anger beginning on the night of the bathhouse raids, which turned into protest, and more anger and eventually became Pride,” said Scott.

Unlike recent Powell River Pride celebrations that included events stretched over an entire week, Scott and fellow organizers pack all the fun into one weekend.

Organizers are calling Friday night’s event a Kiki Party. It starts at 7:30 pm at Texada Arts, Culture and Tourism Centre in Van Anda and includes a screening of the cult-classic film Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Saturday begins with the Pride parade, Texada style, at noon in Shelter Point Park. The afternoon features open mic, drag races, dancing and a barbecue. On Saturday night, Dragaoke takes place from 9 pm to 1 am at Royal Canadian Legion in Van Anda. Pride celebrations end on Sunday morning with a pancake breakfast at Shelter Point from 8:30 am to 11 am and a brunch at the Ravenous Raven in Gillies Bay from 10 am to 3 pm.

Having come from Toronto and the largest gay community in Canada, where Pride can be excessive, Scott said the transition to a small island comes with a change in lifestyle.

“In a small community, you have to take responsibility for your actions,” said Scott. “When you’re in a metropolis, you can be anonymous, but you can’t when you’re living on a rock.”