Gender superheroes to be 2015 Vancouver Pride parade marshals

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      Who doesn't love a superhero?

      The VPS officially announced today (May 29) that the theme of the 37th annual Vancouver Pride parade will be Gender Superheroes.

      “The VPS encourages Pride participants to consider: Who inspired you to be proud? Was it a fabulous superhero, an out family member, or an LGBTQ2+ icon?" VPS Executive Director Ray Lam stated in a news release. "Be that hero this year at Pride and inspire new generations to come out and be proud.”

      Lam had talked about the heroes of the community at the Pride Legacy Awards last night (May 28).

      Today, the VPS revealed who this year's parade marshals will be. The marshals were selected for their exceptional leadership in their communities.

      Two of the marshals have connections to local public figures.

      Roan Reimer is the child of Vancouver city councillor Andrea Reimer. At Qmunity's International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia breakfast, Andrea Reimer spoke about the pain she felt when she witnessed the transphobia expressed at the Vancouver School Board hearings for their update to their sexual orientation and gender expression policy. Roan was the first speaker at the hearing.

      Romi Chandra Herbert has been a longtime LGBT activist and community leader. He is also PeerNetBC's co-executive director and the husband of MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert.

      Meanwhile, Michelle Fortin was nominated for the Blue Community Leaders award at the Pride Legacy Awards.

      Here are some brief bios about each marshal:

      Roan Reimer (pronouns: they, them) is a youth transgender activist, who advocated for and helped to write the revision of Vancouver School Board’s Sexual Orientations and Gender Identity Policy. They are a cofounder of Vancouver's gender-inclusive youth Roller Derby League, advocate for LGBTQ2+ youth artists as an organizer with IGNITE!, and are President of their school’s Gender and Sexualities Alliance.

      Michelle Fortin (pronouns: she, her) has sat as chair at CCEC, an activist Credit Union on Commercial Drive and was recently involved with the Vancouver Dyke March & Festival Society, fulfilling a five-year role as president. Michelle has served a term with the City’s LGBTQ2+ Committee.

      Romi Chandra Herbert (pronouns: he, him) has a long history of working to support LGBTQ2+ youth, sexual health, and anti-oppression education. He started BC’s First Gay/Straight Alliance and helped to develop and run programs for Youthquest!, Qmunity, and Vancouver Coastal Health.

      This year's Vancouver Pride parade will take place on August 2 from noon to 3 p.m.