Co-founder hopes to unite com­mu­nity and talk over is­sues

Metro Canada (Calgary) - - YOUR ESSENTIAL DAILY NEWS - Lu­cie Ed­ward­son Metro | Cal­gary

Come as you are — that’s the motto of the al­ter­na­tive Pride event be­ing put on by two LGBTQ com­mu­nity mem­bers.

If that means a po­lice uni­form, that’s OK.

Gre­gory John, co-founder of Unity of Uni­form, said he re­mem­bers his first Pride event in the late ’90s, when many pro­test­ers showed up. Now with tens of thou­sands of peo­ple ex­pected at this year’s pa­rade, John said it high­lights the role of law en­force­ment.

“We also wanted to get ser­vice mem­bers to come in uni­form — be­cause they’re ob­vi­ously a huge source of pride for them, and that’s what this week is about,” he said.

Cal­gary Pride said last month that it en­cour­ages po­lice to take part in the Sept. 3 pa­rade, as long as it’s with­out uni­forms, firearms, ve­hi­cles or in­sti­tu­tional rep­re­sen­ta­tion, such as floats.

John said he be­lieves Unity of Uni­form is a way to unite the LGBTQ com­mu­nity and public­ser­vice mem­bers — like po­lice, EMS and fire­fight­ers — and to talk about some of the is­sues re­gard­ing how those or­ga­ni­za­tions work with them.

Unity of Uni­form will be held Fri­day night at The Mission.

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