When the first Pride Walk took place in Langley last year, 12 people participated, and they had to use vehicles because of the pandemic.
This year, co-organizer Ess Ravensberger explained, with COVID restrictions starting to ease, there will be two routes, one for walking, and one for driving, with a 50-person limit in effect to meet the current restriction on outdoor gatherings.
“Anyone not comfortable in a crowd,” even a socially-distant one, can use cars, Ravensberger told the Langley Advance Time.
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Set for Sunday, June 27, the event will start at noon, with the walking route circling through Langley across the 204th St. overpass, where organizers plan to hold a cheer, then continuing to Douglas Park.
Vehicles will follow a different route, one that includes the Willowbrook Shopping Centre parking lot, and “a few slow laps around the mall, cheering,” before ending at Douglas Park.
“Come decorate your car with homemade flags, posters, streamers or balloons,” the online invitation reads.
“Or if you are a walking participant, feel free to decorate yourself.”
In order to ensure a COVID-compliant 50-person limit is maintained, participants are being asked to obtain free tickets online through “Langley Pride Parade Walk Tickets” at www.eventbrite.com “just so we can keep track of the numbers,” Ravensberger said.
“The tickets are capped at 50, [so] when they’re sold out, they’re sold out,” Ravensberger said.
Drop-ins can’t be accommodated, they advised.
Ravensberger is creative director of Queer Community Collective, a Metro Vancouver grass-roots, non-profit group, with a stated aim of supporting the physical, emotional and social needs of queer youth and adults by building a diverse collective community.
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A former Langley resident who went to school in Murrayville, Ravensberger was moved to hold the first walk after temporarily moving back to Langley and discovering there was still a lack of resources for queer youth and adults.
“It’s very personal for me,” Ravensberger told the Langley Advance Times.
“I grew up in Langley, I went to school in Langley, I have friends in Langley. I’m the only out person I know [in the local community].”
While there has been some improvements since Ravensberger was growing up in Langley, they described them as “little things” like the raising of a pride flag at Langley City hall.
“It feels performative,” Ravensberger commented.
The walk, they said, “is a way for the queer to say no, we really exist here.”
Ravensberger hopes it will become an annual tradition in Langley.
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