What are we celebrating?

Why do we need a gay pride?

Bermuda Pride celebrates the diversity that makes up our island home.  It openly and unapologetically raises the profile of Bermuda’s LGBTQI+ people and the allies who continue to support the LGBTQI+ community.  Bermuda has come a long way in embracing difference in sexuality and gender and that should be celebrated.

What is Pride about?

Pride means different things to different people.  For some, it is about accepting who they are, or who their loved ones are.  For others, it is a step towards claiming citizenship in their home as a LGBTQI+ person.  For others still, it is about recognizing that we belong to Bermuda despite our differences.  Some people will use the day to commemorate LGBTQI+ loved ones who have passed on. Others will use the day to fellowship with friends and family in a safe and affirming environment.

What do we hope to achieve through Bermuda Pride?

We want to bring the community together in celebration.  We want to recognize our LGBTQI+ elders and (s)heroes. We want to commemorate our LGBTQI+ loved ones who have passed on, and who cannot be present to experience this historical event.  We also want to show love, acceptance and support for the LGBTQI+ community in Bermuda, and demonstrate solidarity with other LGBTQI+ communities in other parts of the world, particularly in former and existing colonies.

If there is a gay pride then shouldn't there should be straight pride?

There is nothing to prevent anyone from organizing a straight pride.  We believe Bermuda Pride 2019 is needed because of the legacy of institutionalized homophobia, bi-phobia and trans phobia in Bermuda.  25 years ago, the very existence of gay men was criminalized. In light of the progress made towards equality, and in honor of the people who continue the work in this regard, we believe a celebration is warranted.

Why Pride is important?

What is Bermuda Pride?

Bermuda Pride is an unapologetic and public celebration of Bermuda’s LGBTQI+ people, and the many allies of the LGBTQI+ community on Island.  It has been organized in the belief in a Bermuda for all people, and will openly acknowledge the importance of the diversity that makes up Bermudian society.

Pride is celebrated in June everywhere else. Why are we celebrating in August?

We wanted to make this a Bermudian celebration.  Pride celebrations in June are timed to coincide with the Stonewall Riots in New York, a turning point in the fight for lesbian and gay equality in the US and around the world.  We want to tie Bermuda Pride 2019 to something that is uniquely Bermudian, that we believe ought to be celebrated. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Stubbs Bill (became law on the 4th of September 1994, so the 31st of August is the closest weekend to that date), legislation that partially decriminalized male homosexuality, and which paved the way for the modern movement for LGBTQI+ inclusion in Bermuda.  We want to honour the LGBTQI+ folk and allies involved in that struggle, as well as the politicians who made it possible from Dr. John Stubbs to Dame Lois Browne-Evans, Freddie Wade, and many more.

What does LGBTQI+ mean?

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer, Questioning and Intersex. The addition of the “+” symbolizes that while this term strives to be inclusive in identifying the various sexualities and gender identities that exist, there are many more.  Native American (or First Nation) communities have long regarded members of our community has possessing two spirits, one male and one female. There are individuals who identify as pan-sexual, and others who identify as a-sexual. Everyone has the right to be comfortable in their own skin, and no one should feel pressured by society, family, a boss etc. to change who they are.

Are you celebrating gay marriage / marriage equality?

This celebration is a lot bigger than the single issue of marriage equality.  We are celebrating 25 years of liberation following the Stubbs Bill, because prior to that time our existence was criminalized by old colonial laws.  We are celebrating 6 years since the Human Rights Act was amended to add protections on the basis of “sexual orientation”. We are celebrating the work being done by people [like Brenda Lana Smith] to raise awareness and advocate for trans people.  We are celebrating the work being done by advocates to raise awareness about the intersectionality of sexuality and race, sexuality and sex, and sexuality and gender. We are celebrating openly LGBTQI+ people in Bermuda who actively seek to make the island a better place for everyone to live.  And importantly, we are celebrating the allies of the LGBTQI+ community.

Questions about the day (UPDATED).

Can children attend?

Yes.  Bermuda Pride is a family friendly event. There will be facepainting and a bouncy castle for children in the park.

What about nudity? Will Pride be like Carnival?

Bermuda Pride has been arranged as a family friendly community event.  Male and female nudity will not be permitted.

What about the threats that are being made on social media?

The Bermuda Police Service has been an ally of Bermuda Pride since the date was released.  We are working closely with BPS to ensure that all participants are able to enjoy Bermuda Pride to the fullest.

What about the less supportive comments that some church leaders are making about Pride?

Everyone in Bermuda has a right to their belief, and to express that belief so long as in doing so they do not seek to threaten or harm others.  Our focus is on ensuring Bermuda Pride is inclusive, welcoming and affirming of LGBTQI+ people and allies and this includes members of all faith communities, some of whom are already very supportive.

Are you worried about protests? (NEW)

There may be protesters along the parade route.  This is not a cause of concern for us. The protestors have a democratic right to assemble and protest, just like we have a right to assemble and celebrate Pride.  Participants in Pride should not interfere with protestors.

What should I do if a protestor shouts abuse at me? (NEW)

We are encouraging participants to simply ignore protestors, even if they are abusive.  Do not engage with them. Doing so risks escalating the abuse, and may heighten the risk of an altercation involving you and others involved in pride.  While it is disappointing that there are some people who cannot embrace diversity, do not let them ruin a fun filled and historical day.

Are you worried about the heat? (NEW)

We’re used to the heat!  All participants should ensure they remain hydrated.  Please bring reusable containers which can be filled at the hydration station in the park, and at the hydration stations along the parade route.  There is a map on our website that shows the locations of the hydration stations along the route.

What’s the order for the parade? (NEW)

We will call everyone to assemble at the bandstand at 10:30am for a short ceremony to mark the occasion.  We will then all leave the park together to begin the parade. The parade will be led by a vehicle carrying the Grand Marshall and a music truck.  Feel free to follow the truck.

Are we stopping anywhere along the parade route? (NEW)

No.  The parade will move along the entire route without stopping.

Will the roads be closed in Hamilton? (NEW)

Traffic will  only be stopped along roads when the parade passes.  This is called a ‘rolling traffic stop’, and seeks to minimize disruption to people using the city.  Roads will be blocked when the procession approaches and will reopen to traffic as soon as the parade has cleared the area.

Can I still access shops in the city during the parade? (NEW)

Yes.  The city will remain open throughout the parade.

Can I access the No. 1 and No. 5 parking lots on Front Street? (NEW)

Yes, these parking lots will remain open; however, you may experience a delay in entering and exiting those parking lots when the parade is passing along Front Street.

What do I do with litter? (NEW)

During the parade you should feel free to place litter in public garbage bins that line the route.  Likewise, you should use the garbage bins in the park for items that you wish to disregard there.

Resources

Watch this video of Bermudian and Pride London Director of Community Engagement, Christopher Joell-Deshields, explain why Pride Parades are still important.

Watch video

Read this guide produced by “The Village”, a Bermuda College LGBTQI+ Organisation.

Download PDF

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