With files from Estefania Duran
Surrey’s first pride parade is being lauded as a success.
But for many who attended, the sun and fun were tinged with sadness, as the shadow of Orlando still looms large, two weeks after a gunman opened fire in a gay Florida nightclub killing 49 people.
“It was on our minds and I think it’s probably on everybody’s mind as we go into this sort of pride season.”
That, from Vanessa Reich who says says her and her partner felt very lucky to be able to celebrate their love.
Vanessa Reich says she and her partner felt very lucky to be able to celebrate their love.
“It was really comfortable, like we felt really comfortable walking around holding hands and that kind of thing. It was nice to be in that atmosphere where that’s totally welcomed and o.k.”
Tim Sargent, who has lived in the city for four years with his partner admits going into the day, they had some anxiety.
“Surrey’s been known for a lot of violence and aggression, so a few of us I believe approached the whole day with some misgivings. But as the day went along certainly our fears were calmed. Yeah, it was a great day.”
But he says despite all of that he loves the city, which he sees changing in positive ways and acceptance.
“Our neighbours here have been pretty accepting, and we’ve had a few surprises where people have been more accepting than we thought they’d be. It’s a good place to be.”
He says he’s looking forward to next year, where he anticipates more music and floats in the parade.