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Grande Prairie community comes together to repaint Pride flag with new feature

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Organized by the Gay and Lesbian Associated of the Peace, the local community came together to stand up against hate as they applied a fresh coat of paint to the Pride flag after it was vandalized with hurtful imagery recently in Community Village.

More than 30 people showed up to support the cause, with music playing, speeches, and a BBQ courtesy of Northreach Society on Saturday.

Northwestern Polytechnic Students Association Executive Director Tahnia Getson (They/Her) attended the event and is glad to see so much support from the community.

“Myself along with a few others heard about the incident and we applied some paint over the graffiti. It’s been really remarkable to see everybody come together. Not just the people who are directly involved, even people passing by, honking their horns in support,” she explains.

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“It’s been about two weeks that we’ve seen an outpouring of support. Whether that’s helping provide the barbecue for the event, or donating the paint. It’s important that our Two-Spirit people have the support of the community as well.”

A new addition was made to the flag, in honour of Two-Spirit individuals.

“We painted on the Two-Spirit flag to show how important the Indigenous community is to everyone. Also, in terms of intersectionality within the 2SLGBTQ+ community, we want to make sure that they are represented in the work because they were the first ones on this land and their culture existed far beyond ours ever did,” Getson says.

Getson feels there has been a noticeable growth in terms of Grande Prairie furthering itself as an accepting, inclusive community.

“The fact that the wall has existed for a year in our community is definitely a positive sign. We’re seeing the pride crosswalk last longer before someone does something too. All of that is really significant and an indication of progress in our community. One person’s actions are not representative of our community,” they add.

Community Village Facility Manager Hywel Williams reminds everyone that the Pride flag is an important part of the community.

“Recently we embarked on a beautification project for the Community Village to bring the look more up to speed with the current times. We reached out to several different organizations regarding displaying art here. I know the Community Village is proud to host the flag and what it means. Today was a great day,” he adds.

Both Getson and Williams thanked everyone for coming out to support the cause. A photo of the new display can be seen in the story above.

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