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Pride week in Moose Jaw kicks off

The City of Moose Jaw’s pride celebrations got underway Monday, and are set to continue until Saturday.

A flag raising ceremony at Saskatchewan Polytechnic kicked off celebrations, but a thrift shop is what has people talking.

Rainbow Retro Thrift Shop’s inventory doesn’t lack in colour, inside or out.

The store is filled with rainbow clothing and items, and all proceeds go towards Moose Jaw Pride and its year-round work.

“Rainbow Retro is a place for people to come and be themselves and try on any item of clothing that they want to find rainbow things, and to find community,” said Joe Wickenhauser, executive director of Moose Jaw Pride.

A photo from the Rainbow Retro Thrift Shop.

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The store is also the canvas for a colourful new mural which commemorates 50 years since the decriminalization of homosexuality, as well as 50 years since the infamous Stonewall Inn riots.

“This year we really wanted to think about, reflect back on the work that’s been done by the community and the work that’s going to be done in the years ahead,” he said.

And so far, the mural has received lots of love.

“We see people taking photos with it all the time, lots of selfies. We’ve got lots of positive response from it.”

Jordan Dyck and Renn and Skylar Forsberg are the grand marshals of the festival, who helped lead the movement which resulted in gender markers being allowed to be removed from government identification in Saskatchewan.

“It was a landmark case in Canada, and around the world and we’re very proud to honour them,” Wickenhauser said.

Pride is more than a celebration, which is why Wickenhauser said it’s important that it happens every year.

“There’s still a lot of challenges and discrimination that our community faces and we need to be continually working on that and making a presence in our community,” he said.

“Having a big party and a big community for people to come out for the first time, is really important and empowering.”

A grant from the Saskatchewan Arts Board has allowed the organization to bring in a wider range of acts, which include Ru Paul Drag Race’s Coco Montrese.

Moose Jaw’s pride parade is on June 1 at 2 p.m.


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