Attending one’s first Pride can be a significant and complicated event. For some, their first experience with Pride may have been positive, for others it may have been rather negative. Individuals experience their first Pride in many different places; in Winnipeg, cities across Canada and all throughout the world. Some may have celebrated with a protest as part of a grassroots organization or celebrated with their friends and family.

As we look back on Pride Winnipeg’s 30th anniversary theme, Resurgence: Taking Back Space, we want to strive to ensure that no member of our gender, sexual and relationship diverse (“GSRD”) community feels left behind. In some cases, invisible barriers exist that prevent individuals from being able to experience their first Pride. Only by shining a light on those barriers can be collectively work towards breaking them down.

By sharing our first Pride experiences with those who may be taking part in Pride for the first time, we hope to bridge the gap between New Priders and the community that actively takes part in Pride. By gaining a mutual understanding of one another, we can ensure that those who have not had the opportunity to attend Pride feel welcomed and embraced by the community.

Over the past several months, Pride Winnipeg has been collecting stories about individual’s first Pride experience – both positive life-long memories, and memories of painful first steps. You will find these stories scattered throughout this years’ guide and Pride Winnipeg materials.

We want to encourage all members of our gender, sexual and relationship diverse community to come out, celebrate Pride, and bring a New Prider to the festivities. This is YOUR Pride, let’s make it memorable.

Photography provided by Shandi Strong and Ally Gonzalo

My parents were out at the lake during the day and they had no idea I was going to pride because I was too scared to tell them I was gay and wanted to go to the festival. I ended up going with a friend of mine not knowing what to expect from…
I went to my first Pride event a long time ago. I felt so free as soon as I was there and wanted to let go of all the lies that I was living. I am a 46 year old intersex individual. Pride looks passed this. To them it was just a word. I was…
my first experience was pretty wonderful. although i was still deep in the closet and went with my dad, just being in the same space as other empowering queer people was enough to bring me to tears. the first time is always terrifying, but everyone…
It was 2011 and I was 19 when I attended Pride for the first time. I had already been out for over a year and I always felt, and continue to feel, a responsibility to wear my pride confidently on my shoulders. My first Pride works as an important…
My first pride took place in 2006,in 2005 I start my transtion to start living full time as female.And I thought it was time to come out public as Rhiannon Martin.At the time I was member of Masquerade ;we had float and truck for Pride.On Sunday…
My first pride happened in June 2016. I had already come out to my parents and it was my last month of high school. The first day I went was the day before the parade, so I wandered around The Forks by myself until I finally found some friends…
My First Pride was in 2016 it started out as a way to get our family involved to support our daughter who recently opened up to us about being gay. We weren’t quite sure what to expect but we just knew we wanted to be a part of it to show…
The first time I went to pride I was 18 years old. My parents weren’t on board with my sexuality at the time so I lied and said I was visiting a friend that day. The entire time I was in a state of panic and was avoiding all cameras I could.…
My first Pride was also Winnipeg's first Pride in 1987. We marched from Vimy Ridge Park to the Legislative grounds. I seem to remember about 200 people, some of them with bags on their heads because you could still be fired for being gay back…
My first Pride FINALLY happened in 2017. I'm a local photographer and usually I'm photographing during the weekend of the festivities so we always miss it. However in 2017 we had our first same-sex couple and couldn't have been happier to celebrate!…
It was 1987. The year of the first annual Gay Pride March in Winnipeg, and I was going to be part of it. The inclusion of sexual orientation in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms had just passed legislation. This was an extra special…
My First Pride Story in Winnipeg was at the first March in 1987. It was a time of great fear and anticipation as the Aids Crisis was starting to have a profound impact on our community. Some political leaders wanted our community to be quarantined.…
I am transgender / M2F Transexual and experienced my first pride parade last year. I was very nervous about going out, and who might see me, as I was fully dressed as a woman, but once there was amazed at the acceptance and friendliness. Was…
I attended my first Winnipeg Pride around the same time we were starting up Pride North of 55. I was still "in the closet" somewhat and Pride blew my mind. Everyone was so open and happy to "just be", not too worried about labels which was refreshing.…
Pride Winnipeg 2017 was my first pride festival. I was 13 at the time and both excited and nervous. Everyone I talked to there made me feel welcome and empowered so I immediately felt comfortable. I ended up walking in the parade at the end…
I am a Proud mom to a transgendered young adult!! and I say that with a big smile 🙂 The very first time I attended pride was back in 2012..I was not sure what to expect and I was nervous about attending. The request came directly from my eldest…
I went to my first pride, not for myself, but for my mother. She had just had a major heart surgery, gone through a divorce, and lost a number of loved ones in the past few years. She was battling severe depression and was having trouble getting…
Was in 1988, I marched with the small group of people. I was so excited, I thought they had a march every year. I remember people wearing paper bags on their head. I recall being so happy and carefree. I saw an elderly couple standing on the…
My first pride was The first one; back in 1986(?) and though I am uncertain of the year I do remember being scared. Afraid of society's rejection; uncertain of our police force intentions and still coming to terms with my own admission of being…
my first parade was 'ottawa pride'. i was a member of 'the childrens aid society' float, and my young kids were with me. as we waited in the holding area before it started, we walked around and visited some of the drag queens, as my daughters…
My first pride was a year after I came out, coming from a christian school background. Very emotional, I was finally able to be free in who I was. Even more emotional to see churches walking in the parade, knowing that I am who I am & I…