Pride 2014: Vision Vancouver waves the flag for gender inclusivity
In 2011, it looked like cycling activist Rob Wynen was going to square off against former student politician Trevor Loke for a Vision Vancouver park-board nomination.
But in a surprise move, Wynen decided instead to run for school board.
Both were elected and at today's Pride parade, it was clear there are no lingering resentments.
Wynen and other trustees shepherded through the Vancouver school district's pioneering policy to advance the rights of students experiencing gender dysphoria.
This week, Vancouver parent Fiona Chen told the Straight that her family cried with joy when the recommendations were approved because it meant that her 10-year-old gender nonconforming son finally felt accepted in Vancouver schools.
For his part Loke spearheaded the park board's efforts to make recreational facilities more trans and gender-variant friendly. (Read the draft recommendations, which were approved unanimously in April.)
The policy provides trans-inclusivity training to staff, contractors, and volunteers who interact with the public at park-board facilities. Another recommendation calls for more private changing stalls and an expansion of universal changing rooms.
Universal signage will be in place for single-stall washrooms and change rooms to welcome trans and gender-variant patrons.
Vision Vancouver takes pride in its LGBT policies and usually tries to outdo every other political organization at the annual Pride parade.
This year was no different when it unfurled what may be the largest rainbow flag in the world.
Vision's executive director, Stepan Vdovine, told me that it was measured beforehand to ensure it would extend from one side of the street to the other.
Vdovine, an adept political organizer, quickly organized a photo shoot with four of the party's new candidates, calling them over.
Below, they are from left to right: Naveen Girn (park board), Coree Tull (park board), Joy Alexander (school board), and Sammi Jo Rumbaua (park board).
You can see the giant rainbow flag draped on the street behind the candidates.
But there was no sign of bisexual writer Trish Kelly, the party's fifth nominated new candidate, who withdrew following a social-media flap about a video she had made about masturbation.