Pride 2014: Vision Vancouver waves the flag for gender inclusivity

    1 of 3 2 of 3

      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).

      Charlie Smith

      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.



      Jamie Lee

      Aug 3, 2014 at 5:03pm

      So today the Mayor minced along the parade route with his shirt unbuttoned proudly I assume displaying his naked chest (obviously a move to solicit votes from horny gay guys) and yet threw lesbian Park Board candidate Trish Kelly out from under the rainbow tent for being fully clothed talking about female masturbation. See a double standard here people? What a hypocrite our Mayor is.

      Ms Pants

      Aug 3, 2014 at 6:43pm

      How did you know they threw her out?


      Aug 4, 2014 at 3:11am

      JamieLee: "mincing" sounds homophobic. Check yourself, and show some respect.

      West Ender

      Aug 4, 2014 at 11:51am

      It is a joke - they let her go as fast as possible an then slam Kirk for a decision he made 15 years ago. Vision Vanc. seems to have lost their sight - or maybe the public should look at hindsight. Sorry could not resist.


      Aug 9, 2014 at 7:17pm

      Christine are you saying the Mayor is gay and I used a slur against him?