Celebrate Your Awesome spreading diversity during Pride month

June 3, 2021   ·   0 Comments

By Sam Odrowski

Ever since Canada signed into law the decriminalization of homosexual acts between consenting adults in June of 1969, one day before the Stonewall Riots, the push for equal treatment of all Canadians, regardless of their sexual orientation, has steadily grown.

The month of June, in many ways, is of great significance when looking at the battles LGBTQ people fought to be treated equally and accepted in society. June is Pride month, which started out as a protest, but now, in Dufferin County and other communities across Canada, it is seen as a celebration of LGBTQ people and diversity.

Celebrate Your Awesome, a local Pride and diversity group, has been hosting celebrations locally since 2018, with a shift to virtual events last year and this year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jim Waddington, who founded the group, said its goal is to connect and unify people of all races and sexual orientations.

“I think really, Celebrate Your Awesome was created to do just that – celebrate everyone’s diversity, but to highlight our gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people to say, there needs to be a voice, they need to be heard, we need to be heard,” said Waddington.

In 2018 and 2019, Celebrate Your Awesome brought live bands, live performances, drag shows, and a celebratory parade to Dufferin County for its annual Pride celebrations.

In 2020 a live virtual show was hosted by a drag performer with a DJ spinning tracks for entertainment. Members of the community also submitted videos for the show, which were featured.

This year, Celebrate Your Awesome is taking a similar route to keep everybody safe from the COVID-19 pandemic. The virtual show is set to release in early August.

Residents and business owners in Dufferin County are also being encouraged to decorate their house or business in rainbow colours to celebrate Pride month.

Healing Moon (23 Mill Street, Orangeville) is selling a variety of t-shirts created by and in support of Celebrate Your Awesome. As well, colourful facemasks, handcrafted by Noah Brown Boutique, can be purchased at 10 and 10 Garden Centre (634026 Hwy 10, Mono) for $20 each, with all proceeds supporting this year’s virtual Pride event.

Waddington noted that the community’s Pride celebrations grew rapidly since Celebrate Your Awesome was officially established in 2018 and he is grateful for all of the community’s support. Pride Flag raisings now take place at various municipalities and schools, as well as at the Dufferin OPP detachment.

“I think we’re very fortunate in Dufferin that we have the support of not only our community but of our local governments,” said Waddington.

Going forward, to stay up to date with everything that Celebrate Your Awesome is doing in support of Pride, visit their Facebook Page at:

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