I’ve marched in a few pride parades, however, this was the first I that I had a camera along. I was limited to 11 shots on the end of a Portra 800 35mm film roll. I had used up my film over the weekend and every shop in town for the day was closed. I am thrilled with the few images I was able to capture and the stories that came with them.
Churches at pride
In downtown Calgary there are any number of churches that the pride route went past. One of the first pictures I took was “KISS WHO YOU WANT” in front of Saint Francis Catholic Church. There was a contrast between the parade and these monolithic buildings that drew me in. I became very aware of the religious groups along the route and started trying to capture the ones I spotted. I vividly remember doing a hard spin to capture the one person in the flowing white robes power walking with a big smile (sad I didn’t manage to get the smile) past all of the signs of support; it is one of my favorite photos that i’ve captured.
YOU ARE LOVED
Near the end of the route is a designated area for counter pride demonstrations. If you where to peak behind this crowd there are hateful signs and people.
All throughout the route there where people wearing “hug a dad/mom/person” shirts. Here at the end you could get a hug from someone resembling a new wave Jesus. That personal love, in combination with all the messages of support to shield the hate, was something powerful for a lot of people.
My favourite small story here is the two people who appear to be a parent and child to the left of the photos. There seems to be some genuine happiness there.
One of my favourite parts of marches of any kind are the signs people create. The self expression and messages crammed onto a lot of them is amazing. One that caught my eye from this Pride was EAT PUSSY, NOT ANIMALS.
Pride in the park
My favourite photo was the one of the pair in the park which I titled Venerable Happiness. They laughed while watching me shooting Shayla and before I left I asked quickly for the photo. I hope they get to see it, seems so free and joyful.
Pride for me is always a bit of a rollercoaster. I love big events, parades, marches, signs, extravagance, everything about the affair. I struggle with the history, that pride continues fundamentally as a protest, and there is still hate behind the curtains. I felt a need to try and capture some of that, especially as I continue to explore my own gender and sexual identity. I wonder what grandpa would say to me using his old camera to capture all of this. Anyway, I hope this serves as a decent record for me of Calgary Pride 2019, and maybe for a few others as well.