Pride Week and 2011 North American Outgames launched at City Hall at noon, celebrating Pride Parade's 33rd anniversary. In support of the event, Mayor Gregor Robertson, Councillors, VIP guests, flag runners, and a number of proud participants gathered to show their support.
"It's a great opportunity for us to host the games here in Vancouver...to bring the fantastic community together and welcome people from all over the world to celebrate with us," said Mayor Gregor Robertson, before reading out the Pride Proclamation.
"Vancouver has shown that it is a diversity in every sense of the word, and I think it's important that it's happening here in City Hall," said Vancouver Centre Liberal MP Hedy Fry.
"This is what pride is all about, and what the Outgames is all about. It's being out there, proud and loud and celebrating. I think it's wonderful, I really do."
Dr. Hedy Fry (left) and Jennifer Breakspear, Executive Director of QMUNITY (right)
"I'm here because my son is homosexual, and I always come to show support. He lives in Hornby Island with his partner," said Isabel Ramirez, who came to attend the event from Richmond. She said she would be marching at the Pride Parade on Sunday.
"I'm excited. Every year we come to this, we've been together three years, and we're always supporting all the events of Pride," said a participant who gave his name as "Hugo-a-Go-Go".
"It's so wonderful, I lived in L.A. for 25 years and it's still illegal there,so it's a shame. They can't get married, so it's not a big win for everybody, but at least it's a start. I'm glad that we can get married here in Vancouver," said Hugo, waving his flag.
Hugo (left) and his partner, Shawno (right)
"It's going to be a very exciting week, a lot of events going on, and of course the big parade at the end. It's going be fun," said Vancouver Pride Parade outreach coordinator Stephanie Hayes.
Outgames volunteers Belen (left) and Linda (right)
Hereditary Chief Dennis Joseph