IN PHOTOS: Hundreds undeterred by smoke for Kelowna’s Pride March

Carli Berry/Capital News Anas Qartoumeh shares his story about being gay in Syria during his speech as Parade Marshal during the Pride March in Stuart Park Saturday.
Chad Rogers, from Peachland, smiles with his nephew Nixon Dawson and London Dawson during the annual Pride March. - Carli Berry/Capital News
Kelowna family from left: Jack Vogt, Rita Vogt, Nico Vogt and Joelle Driedgar show their support for the LGBTQ+ community by walking in the annual Pride March at Stuart Park. - Carli Berry/Capital News
Carli Berry/Capital News From left to right: BC Ambulance employee Chris Bartz with Pride marchers Stephanie Reimer, Stella Li, Callista Pickering and BC Ambulance employee Dave Sherman, shows off a decked out Pride ambulance during the march Saturday in Stuart Park.
Carli Berry/Capital News Hundreds gathered for the annual Pride March Saturday in Stuart Park.
Carli Berry/Capital News Signs are displayed of Kelowna’s LGBTQ2+ Etcetera, a youth program in Kelowna, during the Pride March Saturday in Stuart Park.
Carli Berry/Capital News Kieran Frey waves a flag 11th annual Pride March event Saturday at Stuart Park.
Jakob Cherrey, from Kelowna, snaps a photo during the 11th annual Pride March event Saturday at Stuart Park. - Carli Berry/Capital News

Residents and visitors were not deterred by the smoky weather Saturday, as they walked in the annual Pride March at Stuart Park.

The march was led by Anas Qartoumeh, a gay Syrian refugee who gave an impactful speech and was met with applause during the event.

“I want to ask my community in the Middle East —do you think I’m gay? Yes, I am,” he said. “I am me now and I will never go back to not being me.”

Qartoumeh said two more Syrian refugee men will join in next year’s march after they arrive in Canada.

He shed a few tears while waving the colourful Pride flag, and marching towards Waterfront Park.

Activities for the Pride Festival will continue until 7 p.m. at the park.

@carliberry_
carli.berry@kelownacapnews.com

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