Surrey Pride Parade 2016 Marks 1st Year For Event

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The LGBT community in B.C.'s second-biggest city celebrated a milestone with rainbow colours over the weekend.

Surrey hosted its first-ever Pride parade on Sunday, drawing a few hundred people.

Heart if you got some...beer today. #surreypride

A photo posted by Gay Beers Vancouver (@vangaybeers) on


The procession from city hall to Holland Park was small compared to the established parades in Toronto or Vancouver, but it was just as notable.

“This is the year for Surrey coming alive with LGBTQ community, I think," Shawn Ewing, president of the Surrey Pride Society told Global News.

Two years ago, the city turned down a request to fly the pride flag at city hall, citing a policy that allowed only flags that are emblems of the city, province or country.

This year, the city raised a rainbow flag to half-mast in memory of those killed in the mass shooting in Orlando, Fla. in an exception. Some parade participants also wore black ribbons in solidarity with that city.

What a joy to join in the march at Surrey's first Pride Parade #canqueer #surreybc #surreypride #vanpride

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Now THAT is some gay pride! #surreypride #pride

A photo posted by Ben Greenberg (@ben_greenberg) on


The city also saw the first Pride prom hosted in the Lower Mainland.

"I hope our generation is the one that gets this nailed down and finds acceptance that everyone deserves," Taylor Sherstone, 16, told CBC News.

Alex Sangha runs a queer support group for South Asians, who make up a substantial part of the population in Surrey. He said it will take time for the event to flourish in the municipality.

"I think it's hard for people of colour, especially South Asians," he said in a CBC interview. "It's a little bit close to home. There are some queer South Asians [at the parade] ... but it's hard for people to come out of the closet."

With files from The Canadian Press

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