5 August 2003

Archive - Divers/Cité and AlterHéros - A week of 'firsts'

A week charged with excitement and many ‘firsts’ awaited AlterHéros during the 2003 Divers/Cité festivities, Montreal’s LGBT Pride Festivities. Here’s a colourful synopsis of what took place.


Benefit Party

On Wednesday July 30, AlterHeros, in collaboration with Artefact, threw its first benefit party and concert in the Centre Communautaire des Gais et Lesbiennes de Montréal.  Over a hundred people attended, not only from Montreal, but also from other corners of Quebec and elsewhere.  A great evening that celebrated youth artists, music, expression, and diversity.   The concert featured performances by several talented artists, such as Veda Hille, Norman Nawrocki, Annabelle Chvostek, and others; performances that were strongly appreciated by all that attended.  A silent auction was also organized by Artefact to make it possible for young artists to display their artwork and to have the opportunity to make a little extra money.  Thus, a number of paintings were sold that night.  The evening unfolded amidst an atmosphere permeated with joy and pride and was enjoyed by all.  The profits of the evening were distributed between the artists, as well as Artefact and AlterHéros.  We would like to thank all those that attended and those that contributed their time and/or work to help make the historic evening a true success!


Community Day

For the second time in a row, AlterHéros was present at Divers/Cité’s Community day – a day which marked our organization’s first anniversary.  Flanked by youth groups on both sides and the Montreal Firefighters in front, the AlterHeros booth made people take notice. Thousands of people streamed down Ste-Catherine Street East (between St-Hubert and St-Denis Streets), many of whom visited our kiosk, as our hardworking team distributed AlterHeros bookmarks and sold AlterHeros glow sticks.  This all-day popular outdoor event gave the public an opportunity to meet those responsible for AlterHeros’ success and in turn gave us a chance to talk to people who appreciate the work that we do.  We would like to thank everyone that dropped by our kiosk to meet us and we look forward to doing it again next year.

The Pride Parade

Sunday August 3 marked the first time AlterHeros participated in the Divers/Cité Pride Parade.  An enormous amount of hard work and energy was invested in organizing this event.  The large allegorical float was created around the theme “Superhero for a day, hero everyday.”  The theme was chosen to demonstrate a positive and dynamic image of the reality gay, lesbian, bisexual, and trans youth face on a daily basis as well as to empower youth so that they can look to the future with hope and joy.  It is high time that we start to see the youth as they really are: heroes that are proud of their achievements.  These young people must constantly fight for their place in society, fight prejudice, as well as confront the homophobia and surmount the obstacles that they often face, such as when they come out of the closet, the rejection and the loneliness.

Hence, about fifty young individuals, wearing yellow capes with key words and/or expressions of their hopes and desires written across the back, either rode on the float or marched alongside it as the parade wound east on René-Lévesque Blvd.  The float featured a huge 14ft long mural with scenes, in comic book style, depicting and/or representing the significant stages in life LGBT youth often experience:  questioning one’s sexuality, self-discovery, homophobia, the search for information, relationships in love and friendship, and finally the process of ‘coming out of the closet.’  In the background, music from television shows from our youth saturated the warm August afternoon: a homage to the superheroes we admired when we were young.

A large rainbow flag, carried by twelve young individuals, followed the float. The crowd was encouraged to toss coins onto the flag, donations which would later be distributed among Divers/Cité and the not-for-profit youth organizations taking part in the float.  In total, five youth groups and organizations were involved in the creation of this unique concept and float: ALBiG (Association lesbienne, bisexuelle et gaie du cégep Édouard-Montpetit), AlterHeros, GLAM (Gays and Lesbians at Marianopolis), Jeunesse Lambda, and Project 10.

Thank-you to all those that participated in this event and those who were present in the parade.  See you next year!

AlterHéros+Artefact Benefit Party

AlterHéros, ALBiG, GLAM Marianopolis, Jeunesse Lambda, and Project 10 float

Divers/Cité Pride Parade

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