Happy Pride! This year, I had the opportunity to celebrate pride in Vancouver once again between August 2nd and August 4th. Ever since I officially came out in October 2017, Pride has become even more meaningful for me. Pride signifies a time to celebrate inclusivity and love, and is a time to remind myself that I want to be here as an advocate for those who continue to fight to be their true, authentic selves.

Here’s what I did to celebrate pride!

Friday, August 2nd – Pride at Parq, and Naomi Smalls at Celebrities

I bought tickets to Pride at Parq where I got the chance to see RuPaul’s Drag Race phenomenons, Kameron Michaels, Kim Chi, Asia O’Hara and Aquaria perform! The lip syncs were fierce, the music was upbeat and catchy, and everyone was dancing and singing along. Some really memorable lip syncs were Asia O’Hara’s lip sync to Jennifer Lopez’s – Dance (Again), Aquaria’s Britney Spears – Hit Me Baby (One More Time) and Kameron Michael’s Cher performance. They were soooo good! There was also a booth at the venue to receive some glitter make-up on your face and I was pretty ecstatic about that.

Shortly after the performances at Pride at Parq ended, I made my way to Celebrities Nightclub to watch another drag queen persona, Naomi Smalls!

I cannot wait to see them WERQ it all over again at the Werq the World Tour here in Vancouver on September 23!

Saturday, August 3rd – Pokemon GO Ralts Community Day and Honda Festival of Lights

How awesome was it that Pokemon GO Ralts Community Day landed in the same weekend as Vancouver Pride? In celebration of pride as well as the Toronto Raptor’s winning the NBA Finals, I wore a Toronto Raptors Pride Edition T-shirt, and of course, I had to wear my Pokeball socks. After a hot, sunny day, in and around False Creek, with sweaty palms and an ambitious spinning finger catching Ralts on my phone screen, I managed to receive a lucky 100 IV Ralts from a trade!

I watched fireworks at the Honda Festival of Lights by Sunset Beach at Pacific and Denman. It was a lovely way to end the day with a couple of friends. Imagine if every burst of light was an epic applaud for you being yourself.

Honda Festival of Lights Fireworks view by Sunset Beach in downtown Vancouver

Sunday, August 4th – Vancouver Pride Parade

I had the amazing opportunity to walk in the Vancouver Pride Parade for the first time with KPMG! Although the day was hot, the walk was festive, positive, cheery, full of smiles and waving rainbow flags. Along the way, we got soaked by a bunch of water guns, and it was really heartwarming to see familiar faces among the crowd. Thank you to KPMG Canada for this vibrant experience!

Artemio Rimando walking the Vancouver 2019 Pride Parade waving a rainbow flag

Vancouver Pride 2019 was probably the most colourful that I have ever been to date. It was a weekend where I shined my true colours and danced the streets in celebration of love. I hope this positive energy fills all the more days to come!

How are you celebrating Pride this year? What does Pride mean to you? How do you shine your colours?