Diverse contingent of Grand Marshals set to lead Canada Pride Montreal 2017Entertainment News, Online Only, Section 4A, Top Highlights Friday, August 4th, 2017
MONTREAL – Pride Montreal, which is organizing this year’s first edition of Pride Canada, from Aug. 10 to 20, has unveiled the list of its 17 Grand Marshals, whose exceptional contribution to the cause and to the rights of the sexual diversity and gender plurality it wishes to recognize. “We are extremely proud these remarkable people who, each in their own way, are committed to the LGBTQ+ cause, have accepted our invitation,” said Éric Pineault, President and Founder. “They come from every horizon within our communities but have in common the fact they have made and continue to make a difference in their environment and their field of activity.”
The Grand Marshals will take part in the parade on Sunday Aug. 20, which promises to be the largest of its kind in Canada, bringing together for the first time Canada’s 96 Pride organizations. It will be led by a contingent of Indigenous Peoples in recognition of Canada’s founding peoples, the First Nations, the Inuit and the Métis.
Grand Marshals from Every Horizon in 2017
· John Banks, a native Montrealer who was the private secretary of the legendary Marlene Dietrich and one of Canada’s first LGBT activists as a militant in Vancouver in the ‘60s and then, in Montréal, from the ‘70s to this day. He co-organized the first Pride march in Montreal in 1979.
· Janik Bastien-Charlebois, Professor of sociology at the University of Quebec in Montreal and a researcher on intersex studies and sexual and gender diversity, activist for the recognition of the rights of intersex people.
· Puelo Deir, playwright, producer and publicist, was one of the co-founders of the Divers/Cité, Montréal’s original LGBTQ+ Pride parade and Director of the Montreal Gay and Lesbian Consultation Table, now the LGBT Quebec Council.
· Khloé Dubé, 15 year old transgender teenager, assigned as a boy at birth and has been transitioning for the last three years.
· Florence Gagnon, Creator of the Lez Spread The Word resource platform for lesbians in 2012, co-creator and executive producer of the fiction series FÉMININ/WOMEN winner of 2 Gemini awards in 2015 and director of publication, since 2016, of the bilingual LSTW Magazine distributed across Canada, the U.S. and Europe.
· Mona Greenbaum, Co-founder and Executive Director of the LGBT Families Coalition that advocates for families with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender parents. She is co-president of the Scientific Committee of the conference on LGBTTIQA2S Lives: Our Struggles, Our Victories, Our Challenges (August 15 to 17), part of the Canada Pride Montréal 2017 program.
· Maïtée Labrecque-Saganash, young member of the Cree Nation, Political Science student at UQAM, activist with Idle No More, Montréal Aboriginal and Foundation Voices of Women and a columnist for the Métro Newspaper.
· Mado Lamotte, Montréal’s most famous drag Queen, a character created and embodied for 30 years by Luc Provost, who paved the way for emerging drag queens thanks to her eponymous Cabaret.
· Tasheka Lavann, lesbian activist and former Miss Antigua and Barbada and television news anchor turned LGBT activist. She fled her country to seek protection in Toronto where she lives with her partner and works as a singer/event host and motivational speaker.
· Fleurien Leth Graveson, gender-queer artist and activist based in Montréal, they co-run the Asexual Community of Montréal, and have a passion for bringing to the spotlight lesser-known identities such as non-binary genders, asexuality and aromanticism.
· Stuart Milk is a global LGBT rights advocate who has worked on the ground supporting struggling LGBT communities in over 60 countries in six continents. He is the co-founder of the Harvey Milk Foundation. As the nephew of Harvey Milk, Stuart has expanded his uncle’s example and courage by successfully leading historic campaigns for an annual holiday, US Postage stamp and US Navy ship, all named after Harvey.
· Martine Roy, established resource groups in support of LGBT employees at IBM where she has worked since 1999, a board member of Pride at Work Canada, was President of Fondation Émergence until 2015, and since June 2017, is a Commissioner for youth of the Quebec Human Rights and Youth Rights Commission
· Bill Ryan, professor of social work, gender and sexual diversity and family therapy at McGill University. His research interests include gay youth and homophobia. He also co-chairs the Scientific Committee of the conference on LGBTTIQA2S Lives: Our Struggles, Our Victories, Our Challenges (August 15 to 17), part of the Canada Pride Montréal 2017 program.
· Jack Saddleback, a Two-Spirit Transgender gay man from the Samson Cree Nation, the third Indigenous person and first transgender person elected President of the University of Saskatchewan Students’ Union. Today, an activist member of several committees including the National Indigenous Youth Council on Sexual Health and HIV/AIDS.
· Mark Singh, is the former President of Fierté Canada Pride, and former Co-Chair of Pride Toronto. He initiated and lead the successful bid for World Pride Toronto 2014. He has also served on the board of InterPride.
· Chrissy Taylor, a gender-queer, currently Vice President of Operations for InterPride and former Vice President of the Vancouver Pride Society, has spent many years in health equity research working with sex workers and PLWAIDS (people living with AIDS).
· Mark Tewksbury, Olympic Gold Medalist, Barcelona (1992), was head of mission at the London Summer Olympic Games (2012), is an international keynote speaker, active on all continents and a recognized global leader on LGBT sport issues.
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