LGBT in B.C.: Okanagan's first trans march to take place in Kelowna

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      Although awareness of transgender issues has increased in the mainstream over the years, with the likes of attention given to Chaz Bono and Caitlyn Jenner, there's still a long way to go when it comes to trans rights.

      The Okanagan Pride Society is doing something about it and is shining a spotlight on the T in LGBT.

      The first Trans Pride March to be held in the Okanagan will take place on August 11.

      The march will start at 6:30 p.m. the Sails (the Spirit of Sail sculpture) on Bernard Avenue in downtown Kelowna and end at the Laurel Packinghouse (1304 Ellis Street) where the #Stand4Trans in the Okanagan event will be held.

      Acclaimed Canadian singer-songwriter Rae Spoon will headline the Trans Pride event. The Calgary-born, transgender Spoon was the focus of the 2013 biographical musical documentary My Prairie Home.

      "For many years the rights of the transgender community have largely been ignored with most of the focus and advocacy being for gay and lesbian equality," Okanagan Pride President Wilbur Turner stated in a news release. "It is time for us all to come together and create visibility and to provide education and awareness around transgender equality, rights and freedoms. While there are protections in the law against discrimination, unfortunately for the trans community it has little effect."

      For those interested in taking a jaunt out to Kelowna, the Okanagan Pride Festival will run from August 8 to 15, and will include a drag competition, roller derby, golf tournament, cruise, and dance parties.

      The Pride rally and march will even feature Kelowna mayor Colin Basran as a grand marshal.

      Full details are available at the Okanagan Pride website.