OPINION (HP) – Each year, in the blazing sun of the Pride parade in Nelson, B.C., Pega Ren and her two young grandkids seek shade under their spinning rainbow parasols. Ren, a semi-retired sex therapist, told HuffPost Canada the parasols were a magical find, and have come to symbolize the importance of this event for her family. Ren spoke joyfully of going to the dollar store, picking up all the rainbow ribbons and flags, decorating the roller skates and the stroller, and getting the costumes ready. “I can’t imagine a safer place for families to bring children,” she said of Pride.
A resounding chorus of voices — from within the queer community and not — would agree with this general sentiment about Pride parades and kids. But in late May, one tweet turned it into a bigger conversation. The post asked parade participants not to “sexualize” Pride and to leave their fetish and kink at home, for the sake of minors. Anyone who has been to a parade has likely seen the procession of leather animal costumes, kinky costumes in every hue, and more skin than is normally exposed in public. Although the post and account have since been deleted, the tweet got many people talking: How child-appropriate are Pride festivities? And why does this discussion hit a nerve for the LGBTQ+ community? READ MORE