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Residents and supporters gathered to celebrate the LGBTQ2+ community at the Pride Saugeen Shores second annual flag raising ceremony June 8.

Hub Staff

The second annual Pride Saugeen Shores flag raising ceremony took place on Saturday, June 8 outside the Saugeen Shores Police headquarters. Community volunteers and organizations came together to coordinate the logistics of the event but it was the supporters and speakers present who gave it meaning.

Although several attendees reported a smaller gathering than at the inaugural event in 2018, those who were present made a powerful display of support for the LGBTQ2+ community.

Food was supplied by the Saugeen Shores Rotary Interact Club who kept the barbecue fired up and Bruce Power sweetened the deal by donating a cake. The Gender Sexuality Alliance (GSA) from Saugeen District Secondary School (SDSS) came armed with trays of rainbow cookies to share with fellow supporters.

The Saugeen Shores Chamber of Commerce donated the sound system to amplify the important message portrayed by the event.

Perhaps the most significant contribution came from a Grade 11 transgender student from SDSS, Abigail Keneer, who gave her wisdom, experience and vulnerability openly to the crowd. She readily confessed that she’s not perfect, Saugeen Shores is not perfect and asked, “Why does everything have to be so freaking perfect?”

In answer to her own question, Keener suggested that we don't need perfection, we need pride. "Just be you and be proud of what you do," she said.

Through the first words of her speech, Keneer announced to everyone present that they were “awesome," words that were echoed back to her by an audience member as Keneer struggled through an emotional point in her speech, giving her strength to continue.

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Saugeen Shores Mayor Luke Charbonneau, Police Chief Mike Bellai and SDSS student Abigail Keneer raised the flag at the second annual Pride Saugeen Shores event on June 8 in Port Elgin.

Fianna Kiersten

Fianna McKnight (left) and Kiersten Martin from SDSS joined the Saugeen Shores Pride celebration on Saturday, June 8 outside the police headquarters in Port Elgin.

Ariella Gary

Ariella Lilly attended the Pride Saugeen Shores flag raising ceremony along with her grandfather Gary Franklin. The pair will also be waving their rainbow flags at the Kincardine Pride Parade June 22.