The flag is up and Pride Week has begun in Moncton.
The day kicked off with the flag raising in Riverview and the first annual ‘Ride for Pride’ took place Saturday afternoon.
Jacob Veal attended the flag-raising and says seeing the flag go up has just as much significance and meaning as it did the first time he saw it happen.
“It’s always amazing every year that we do it. It kind of brings a tear to your eye every year a little bit and you just enjoy and you feel a sense of proudness and your chest puffs up and it’s just one of those amazing things that our community can do for us,” Veal said.
Veal was one of 15 people who also took part in the first annual ‘Ride for Pride’ —; promoting inclusion, and honouring victims of the Orlando night club shooting.
He says the shooting left him wondering if something similar would happen in Canada, but he says people need to know that it’s safe for them to be open who they really are.
“I feel like we have support in most of the community and so I just want them to be proud of who they are and be themselves,” Veal said.
The ride started at La Bikery and went through Riverfront park. Participants paused at the halfway point for a minute of silence to honour the victims of the Orlando shooting. The ride went 4.9 km to coincide with the 49 people who lost their lives.
River of Pride Media and Public Relations Coordinator Charles MacDougall says pride has been celebrated in Moncton for 17 years, and that it is getting better every year. He says it’s exciting to see the longevity and growth of Pride Week.
“This is our biggest Pride yet,” MacDougall said.
Veal says his advice for anyone who is feeling hesitant about coming out is to talk to a friend, a counsellor, or reach out to local organizations.