Calgary Pride

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.

Pride 2019 - Canon A-1 50mm Porta 800

Pride 2019 - Canon A-1 50mm Porta 800

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.

KISS WHO YOU WANT - Canon A-1 50mm Porta 800

KISS WHO YOU WANT - Canon A-1 50mm Porta 800

Saint Francis Catholic Church - Canon A-1 50mm Porta 800

Saint Francis Catholic Church - Canon A-1 50mm Porta 800

God loves everyone. It’s pretty simple - Canon A-1 50mm Porta 800

God loves everyone. It’s pretty simple - Canon A-1 50mm Porta 800

Knox United Church - Canon A-1 50mm Porta 800

Knox United Church - Canon A-1 50mm Porta 800

You are loved 1 - Canon A-1 50mm Porta 800

You are loved 1 - Canon A-1 50mm Porta 800

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.

You are loved 2 - Canon A-1 50mm Porta 800

You are loved 2 - Canon A-1 50mm Porta 800

Signs

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.

EAT PUSSY NOT ANIMALS - Canon A-1 50mm Porta 800

EAT PUSSY NOT ANIMALS - Canon A-1 50mm Porta 800

Pride in the park

Pride in the park - Canon A-1 50mm Porta 800

Pride in the park - Canon A-1 50mm Porta 800

Venerable Happiness - Polaroid SLR680

Venerable Happiness - Polaroid SLR680

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 in the park - Polaroid SLR680

Pride in the park - Polaroid SLR680

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.