Inaugural Minto Pride event features picnic, walk in park

PALMERSTON – Minto’s  first ever pride event will be held on July 13 at Lions Heritage Park here.

The event, a picnic featuring speakers, information booths and a march through the park, will run from 2 to 5pm.

Rosie Krul, a member of the Minto Pride organizing committee, said the event was developed through a Minto Cultural Roundtable meeting where members were “brainstorming” for projects to stage over the next year.

Krul said a pride event had been suggested in the past, but didn’t get off the ground due to lack of volunteers.

However, this year, roundtable members Krul, Caitlyn Hall and Rassia Rogers agreed to take on the project and formed a committee, that also includes Jessica Rowden and Samantha Greer, to work with the cultural roundtable to organize the event.

Minto Pride is billed as a celebratory event to encourage inclusion and increase visibility of the LGBTQ+ community in the Town of Minto, while promoting education on the diversity of gender, sex and sexual identity.

“I think that there are a lot more LGBTQ people in small towns than anyone realizes because, with a lot of them, it’s not a visible thing,” said Krul. “So I think there’s way more diversity than anyone realizes, and probably more even in their immediate friends and family that they might not know about. So by having this event we really want to encourage inclusion and increase that visibility, just to let people know that they can be who they are in a small town and they don’t have to leave to a more urban centre to feel included and feel like they belong.”

Although members of LGBTQ+ community “don’t face as many challenges legally,” as they did even 10 or 15 years ago, said Krul, issues remain.

“I think mainly in small towns it’s education on just not being judgmental about something you don’t understand,” she explained.

“We’ve had a few comments saying, ‘I just don’t believe in that and that’s why I’m not going.’ Well that’s okay, you don’t have to believe in something for it to be a thing. That’s like saying you don’t believe that someone could be a person of color – it’s just kind of a product of who they are.”

Minto Pride activities actually get underway on July 12, when the Minto Youth Action Council will host an outdoor movie, Love Simon, a recent release based on the best-selling young adult novel Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda. The movie will be shown outside the Palmerston Heritage Museum, beginning at 8pm. Admission is by donation, with all proceeds going towards Minto Mental Health’s youth programming. Movie attendees should bring lawn chairs and/or blankets. Popcorn, snacks and drinks will be available for purchase.

July 13 events begin at 2pm, including a free barbecue between 3 and 5pm. At 5pm a pride march through the park is planned.

Prior to the march, two guest speakers will address the gathering.

Minto native Chad Tailor, who now works in the film industry in Toronto, will be one of the speakers.

“He’s coming back to  speak about growing up gay in a small town and where his life took him,” said Krul. “Although I’m sure he’ll talk about the challenges he faced, it’s going to be a family-friendly kind of uplifting message.”

Another speaker will be a transgender teen and their mother.

A related event will be held in the evening of July 13 at 8pm; The Crown Theatre in Harriston is hosting That’s My Drag! a professional drag show staged by TroyBoy Entertainment and showcasing some of Ontario’s top drag performers and up and coming talent. The committee states the show is appropriate for all ages. Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 at the door and available through Eventbrite or by emailing

Krul said initial public reaction to Minto Pride has been “overwhelmingly positive.

“A lot of people are saying, ‘It’s about time; I’m really glad that this event is happening, can’t wait to be there.’ So that’s been encouraging,” she said.

“And even the negative comments haven’t been very harsh. It’s more just … ‘I can’t understand why we feel the need to do this.’ But to them I want to say we do know people … who did choose to move away from Minto because they didn’t find the community welcoming to them because of their gender identity or sexuality and there is still is a lot of persecution both locally and globally. But we really want to show people, especially young people, that they can be who they are in a small town and not have to leave to find the acceptance that they want.”

More information can be found on the Minto Pride Facebook page.


There is 1 comment.

  1. ann.graham9106 on

    The Emperor’s New Clothes: by Hans Christian Anderson. Adults are fooled because of personal pride and children speak the truth. Does the Library have this book? The pictures are great!