While June is the month most cities around the world hold their annual Pride festivities and every brand under the sun opts for a rainbow logo, in Halifax we celebrate our Pride Festival in July. This made us wonder if June even counts as Pride Month in Halifax.
The answer is: sort of. “June is often recognized internationally as Pride Month due to the Stonewall Rebellion taking place over several days in New York City in June 1969,” writes Fiona Kerr, communications and operations manager of Halifax Pride in an email. As a refresher, the Stonewall Rebellion refers to when 2SLGBTQ+ people fought back against a police raid of the Stonewall Inn, sparking a series of demonstrations considered to be the birth of the modern queer rights movement.
In Halifax, we host our Pride Festival in July to honour a different event in queer history. “Because the first Halifax Pride march took place in July 1988, hosting our festival in July allows us to recognize our distinct history and beginnings as a march protesting harassment and discrimination,” Kerr writes.
There’s a practical element to hosting our Pride events outside of June, too. “It avoids scheduling conflicts with other Pride events and allows for members of the 2SLGBTQ+ community to travel from one community to another, visiting Prides throughout the summer,” she writes. Other places in Nova Scotia—Truro for example—celebrate Pride in June. So one could theoretically go on a global Pride Parade tour through June, and still make it home for the Halifax events.
Basically, we Haligonians get to enjoy two periods of Pride festivities: International Pride Month in June, and our local Pride Festival in July (which runs from July 14-24 this year). And we think that’s pretty awesome.