Langford’s first Pride parade

With its own float, the City of Langford participated in the Victoria parade

Langford Councillors Kimberley Guiry, Mark Morley, Mary Wagner and Mayor Scott Goodmanson. Photo: Sidney Coles

It was hot, it was colourful. It was a first. This year there were 127 floats in the Victoria Pride parade and for the first time, the City of Langford was one of them. Thousands lined the rainbow punctuated streets to watch participants in the city’s 30th Pride parade and festival. This year was Victoria Pride Society’s best attended parade to date. Various media estimates put numbers between 40,000 and 70,000 people who came out in the sweltering heat to show their love, support and solidarity for the CRD’s diverse rainbow community.

The Society’s vision is “a city free of marginalization, discrimination, and oppression, where members of Gender, Sex and Relationship Diversity (GSRD) communities are safe to live and love, openly and authentically.”

The Westshore spoke with Langford Mayor Scott Goodmanson and Langford councillors at their marshalling area just before the parade began.

“This is fantastic. Walking up and down the streets, seeing the folks getting together—just one huge community made up of numerous sub-communities whether it’s municipal communities, fire departments, hotels, businesses, school districts all here for one purpose,” said Goodmanson.

“We are so excited to be at Pride this year, Langford’s first pride parade—our community is just so diverse and beautiful, and we are celebrating this year with all the CRD,” said Coun. Kimberley Guiry.

The councillors agreed it was important to have their own float. 

“I am super excited. Last year I joined Victoria on their float and this year Langford has our own entry,” said Coun. Mary Wagner. “I think it’s important to be here. We want to be a leader in the Westshore and I think it’s important that we’re here representing Langford and the Westshore.” 

In anticipation of the event Coun. Colby Harder, who had a hand in creating the Langford float, told The Westshore, “It's been disturbing to see ongoing vandalism to the Pride Progress crosswalk since its installation earlier this year, but I know that it does not represent the values held by the majority of our community.” 

Recurring acts of vandalism perpetrated against symbols of 2SLGBTQ+ pride in the past few years, including on city banners and the rainbow crosswalk at Spender Middle School have marred Langford’s reputation as an inclusive community. Last week, West Shore RCMP apprehended one of two suspects in multiple incidents where offensive graffiti was applied to the crosswalk.

A 22-year-old man was arrested on two counts of mischief and was later released with conditions that included not being permitted on any School District 62 property which includes Spencer Middle School. The second suspect has not yet been arrested.

“This crosswalk has become a powerful symbol in Langford and a stark reminder that celebrating Pride and standing with the 2SLGBTQIA+ community isn't simply a month-long event, but rather part of a collective movement to create a culture of inclusivity, equity, and love,” said Harder. “Hate has no place in Langford.” 

When asked about the impact of the incidents on members of the 2SLGBTQ+ community, Goodmanson said, “there are still those being ridiculed, and living in fear, today, right now, all around us. For basically nothing more than who they chose to love. We have to do more, on a day-to-day basis, than just a parade.” 

“I hope being here today helps show someone, even just one person, that they have support and are loved,” said Goodmanson.