Kuujjuaq Pride Parade aims to increase visibility of LGBTQ community
Talking about sex still ‘taboo’ in Nunavik, organizer says
Rainbow flags and jovial music took over Kuujjuaq on Aug. 19 as the community celebrated its second pride parade with dancing and singing.
The parade consisted of a flatbed truck followed by a crowd of rainbow-clad people, many carrying flags or wearing colourful capes. It was kicked off by youth organizer Niivi Sinuupa, who called everyone in the LGBTQ community to action.
“Be queer, and be proud,” she said.
Maxime Lamoureux, a sexologist for the Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services, spearheaded this year’s event.
“We want to raise awareness regarding LGBTQ rights, and also develop an LGBTQ+ community in Nunavik. But there is very little support and there is very little visibility for them right now,” she said.
Lamoureux said there has been a lack of discussion about LGBTQ issues in school curriculums. Some teachers choose to include it, and others don’t.
“I think it is still a bit taboo to talk about anything related to sexuality in Nunavik, especially LGBTQ,” she said.
Tommy Sequaluk helped organize the parade, and said he was excited to finally get an event like this off the ground.
“We’re finally doing it today, and we’re doing this to support our LGBTQ+ community, our local community, and the communities all around Nunavik,” he said, adding it should be held every year.
“We are already planning next year’s event, this time in June.”
Sequaluk said Pride is important to him because it was the support of his friends that helped him to be himself.
“I am proud!” he said.