The Rotary Centre for the Arts raises the Pride Society flag on Thursday. (Brian Webb - HomoCulture)

Kelowna Rotary Centre flies pride, trans flag during Youth Trans March

RCA executive director said it was an honour to support the LGBTQ2+ community

As a crowd marched through the streets of downtown Kelowna to Lady Gaga’s “Born this way” and trans pride chants, the Rotary Centre for the Arts (RCA) raised the LGBTQ2+ and trans flags on the building’s rooftop Thursday evening.

The Youth Trans March and Social event was hosted by Etcetera, the youth division of Kelowna Pride and the RCA.

“Kids need to know they’re OK,” RCA executive director Tyler Russell said.

The Rotary Centre for the Arts decided to raise the Pride Society flag to acknowlede that inclusion is important to the community.

READ MORE: Kelowna Pride Society looks for community feedback

LGBTQ2+ supporters were delighted to see the flag raised.

A group of other attendees called the gesture “majestic”, while Taylor Bray and Hollis, who are both affiliated with the RCA, said, “It makes (us) proud that something I’m a part of did that.”

READ MORE: Organist Jim Leonard opens Okanagan festival with first opera

As a kid growing up in Kelowna, Russell said he knew how it felt to be bullied and unaccepted.

“I know what it’s like to have people chase after you and want to beat the crap out of you because you look a little queer,” Russell said. “In this town, on this street, we can’t have kids feeling that.”

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We'd like to give a huge shout-out to the board of directors at @okfilmmaking as well as their Executive Director, Matt Stewart, for all of their support in making the first ever Kelowna Out & Proud Film Festivalhappen! 🎥😃 From helping us navigate the world of film, to distributing posters throughout the community, they have been instrumental in making this event come together. • Be sure to catch the Out & Proud Film Festival next week, June 19 and 20 at the Mary Irwin Theatre. For a full schedule of films, please visit the Facebook event page or www.rotarycentreforthearts.ca. • Pictured here: Matt Shay, OSIF board member and ally to the LGBTQ2+ community. . . . . . #rotarycentreforthearts #rca #rcaevents #kelowna #kelownanow #kelownabc #kelownafornia #okanagan #ylw #okanaganart #okanaganartist #kelownaart #kelownaartist #kelownaculture #kelownanow #explorekelowna #downtownkelowna #kelownaliving #kelownaevents #kelownapride #equality #lgbt #lgbtq🌈 #lgbtq

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Kelowna Pride will cap off with this year’s festivities with the annual Kelowna Pride Festival and March on Saturday, June 22 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

READ MORE: Peak Pride paints rainbow on Big White Ski Resort


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