Spectrum: Pop-Up Pride honours 2SLGBTQ+ history outside of summer

Vancouver Pride Society celebrates Family Day and other celebrations through a community lens

Pride event hosted by Vancouver Pride Society. (Submitted)

Pride event hosted by Vancouver Pride Society. (Submitted)

Vancouver’s 2SLGBTQ+ community won’t have to wait until summer for pride this year, as Pop-Up Pride adds a touch of rainbow to a typically dreary time of year.

Running from Feb. 21 to 27, the festival will see the Vancouver Pride Society (VPS) hosting a variety of outdoor and online events throughout Vancouver. The festivities kick off with Chosen Family Day hosted on Feb. 21 and will help to close the Vancouver Mural Fest’s Winter Arts Festival on Feb. 27.

Both events will feature exciting live performances by 2SLGBTQ+ artists, hot drinks and food trucks, with the Chosen Family Day event also featuring drag storytime and other kids’ activities.

“We originally had Winter Pride planned, but due to COVID and the recent restrictions, we decided that we would be on the [safe] side again and just cancel our events,” says VPS communications coordinator Ivy Edad, adding that the festival’s co-presenters weren’t feeling comfortable with doing events at that time.

“So, we decided to go ahead with our outdoor events, like Chosen Family Day. And then we have our two virtual events,” Edad says. 

One of their events is called “The Value and Creativity of Queer Stories,” which will present a panel of queer writers. “The Big Top” is another event, showcasing a drag show series by Satani, a local drag clown. 

“They put together this show of a bunch of drag artists, and it’s called ‘Scene vs. Emo Part Two.’ So, I’m really interested to see what they have in store,” Edad says. 

When VPS was originally planning Winter Pride, it did so to coincide with Black History Month and Lunar New Year. 

VPS was able to find ways to honour both events through merch for mutual aid with Vancouver-based group Afroqueer and through a virtual Lunar New Year event hosted by 2SLGBTQ+ centric group Normie Corp.

Edad adds that it was important to host events through a queer lens in February due to the queer history milestones that took place during the month. 

“A lot of queer history things actually happened during February,” they say, citing the famous bathhouse raids in Toronto as a specific example. “[2SLGBTQ+ people] actually deserve attention year-round, not just during the summer. So, I think it’s definitely a step towards that.”

“It’s also kind of a response to how fast we sold out of our events last Pride season, because last Pride season everybody wanted to come, and events were really popular after everybody was coming out and trying to figure out their pandemic comforts.” 

Edad says that, like last year, the VPS will be taking measures to keep the community safe.

“Everybody wants events, and we’re trying to give it to them in the safest way possible,” they say.

When asked if VPS would be hosting similar events throughout the year, Edad says that Pop-Up Pride “existed before the pandemic happened” and that they’re hoping to continue it going forward.

“We can’t confirm, but we are planning to have more events year-round,” Edad says.