The Sochi Winter Olympics are inadvertently turning out to be the gayest games ever.

As Gay Whistler's Dean Nelson (who helped create the world's first Olympic Pride House) pointed out in an interview with the Georgia Straight, Russian president Vladimir Putin and the Russian government have unintentionally done more to draw attention to homophobia and LGBT rights than they ever could have foreseen.

Countries around the world have expressed their concerns about Russia's antigay legislation.

Even Google has gotten into the gay-mes with this Google Doodle.

Canadians have also added their voices to the global outcry.

When you think of Pride parades, what do you usually think of?

Skis, snowboards, and snowgear probably aren't the first things to come to mind.

Yet that's what the case is for Whistler's WinterPride parade. The third annual rainbow-decorated march was held on January 31 during the ski resort's LGBT ski week (as officially proclaimed by Whistler's mayor the day before).

Canadian Olympians have already marched in the Toronto, Vancouver, and Whistler Pride parades.

And today, several showed up for the annual bash in Ottawa.

It comes as some in the LGBT community—including Vancouver–West End NDP MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert—are calling upon the federal government to boycott the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, unless President Vladimir Putin reverses antigay laws.

Chandra Herbert told reporters earlier this month in Vancouver that federal politicians should reflect on whether they're willing to send Canadian athletes to a country that would lock them up if they were Russian and were even suspected of being homosexual.

Have you sufficiently recovered from Vancouver Pride Week? Are you raring to go again?

Well, don't stash your rainbow flag away just yet—there's another smorgasbord of Pride celebrations in the Lower Mainland to take in.

New Westminster's fourth annual Pride festivities take place this weekend. Presented by the Royal City Pride Society, the 50 Shades of Pride 2013 Stonewall Dance gets the party started on Friday night (August 16) at the Metro Hall (759 Carnarvon Street).

I brought a Flip camera to film a few of the floats going by during today's Vancouver Pride parade.

If you weren't able to make it, check out the videos below to see how it looked.


The Vancouver Men's Chorus made music in the street.



Trojan's slogan on its float couldn't be misinterpreted.


Premier Christy Clark was one of several politicians who showed up for today's Pride parade through Vancouver's West End.

Clark appeared to be unaccompanied by members of her party as she darted around greeting people in the crowd along Beach Avenue.

The parade was delayed for several minutes before she showed up—a decent indication that a V.I.P. is about to make an appearance.

A few minutes later, a group of New Democrats appeared, including Leader Adrian Dix, accompanied by a placard featuring former federal leader Jack Layton.

The Vancouver Public Library has always been a bastion of free thinking, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that it became a source of Pride this weekend.

As I strolled through the atrium at the central branch, there were people at several tables offering information about issues that don't always get covered in the mainstream media.

The Vancouver Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence—an order of 21st-century queer nuns—were there to discuss the good work they do to help people with HIV.

They incorporated the Abbey of the Long Cedar Canoe Society as a registered charity and are visible at events across the region, offering help to alleviate homelessness.

The laughing men otherwise known as the A-maze-ing Laughter sculpture got a queer remix just in time for Pride.

The jovial figures, created by contemporary artist Yue Minjun located at Morton Park at the intersection of Davie and Denman streets, first appeared as part of the Vancouver Biennale 2009-11. A $1.5-million donation in 2012 from Shannon and Chip Wilson, the Vancouver-based founder of lululemon, helped to keep the art piece at English Bay.

While Vancouver's main Pride parade will be held on Sunday (August 4), there are several other marches around town to take note of.

What's more, the following two marches take place in East Vancouver, which help to highlight not only various LGBT communities but those that exist outside the West End.

Trans, gender-variant, and genderqueer people will participate in the Trans and Genderqueer March, a political protest and celebration of gender diversity on Friday (August 2).

What they will be protesting is: harassment, violence, denial of express protections against discrimination, employment, housing and educational insecurity, and a prison system that places trans people in solitary confinement.

Late Sunday night (July 28), City of Vancouver staff quietly laid a fresh and colourful coat of paint over crosswalks at the intersection of Davie and Bute.

The installation comes just as Pride week kicks off, but will remain in place as a permanent ficture of the West End.

Vision Vancouver councillor Tim Stevenson gave the rainbow street art an official unveiling Monday morning (July 29). Shortly after, Vancouver’s social media scene burst with more colour than a pot of gold.

Here’s a selection of our favourite pics from the community.