Mike Cootes will host Ucluelet’s first Pride event at the ANAF on Aug. 26. (Photo - Mike Cootes)

Ucluelet to host first Pride event

I want to see the full spectrum of people’s creativities.

A longtime Ucluelet local is putting together what he believes is Ucluelet’s first Gay Pride event.

Mike Cootes will host an ‘On the Edge of Pride’ party at the Army Navy and Airforce Veterans Club on Aug. 26.

“It is going to be full-on decorated with Pride colours, flags and various amounts of rainbow,” Cootes told the Westerly News. “It is very highly recommended that you dress as you want to dress…I want to see the full spectrum of people’s creativities, even if it’s just a little rainbow painted on their face.”

Doors will open at 10 p.m. with DJ Rabbit performing from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Cootes, who has lived in Ucluelet for 28 years said he attended Vancouver’s annual Pride Parade with a group of local LGBTQ friends roughly five years ago and “had a blast.” Unfortunately though, the full group has never been able to return due to their summertime work obligations, so Cootes decided it was time for the West Coast to have its own event that locals could attend without traveling over Sutton Pass.

“The Pride Weekend in Vancouver is always the first of August, smack dab in the middle of summer, so it’s always busy at work,” he said.

“I wanted to bring pride to Ukee and let some people in town experience that. It may not be as glamorous or fabulous [as Vancouver’s], but it would still be nice to show that Ukee has Pride for all those in this small town who are in the LGBTQ community and to show that this community can be very supportive of those who are LGBTQ because, in my experience in the many years that I’ve been here, it’s accepted but it’s not very out there.

“Not that it has to be in your face, but I feel like it has to be a bit more known that this town does support anybody of any race, gender and sexuality.”

Cootes was 16 years old when he told his father he was gay and was relieved to immediately receive his father’s support, but he waited until he was 19, roughly two years after graduating high school, to come out to the community.

He said it’s important to make local LGBTQ support more obvious so that anyone struggling with their sexuality knows they aren’t alone.

“When I did come out, everyone was supportive,” he said adding that hasn’t been the case for others.

“Everyone comes out differently. No story is the same. There are still probably people on reserves and in towns that are still battling with themselves and this is to show them that there is a community that will accept them for who they are so they could feel more comfortable in their skin.”

He said he’s been delighted with the response he’s received for his ‘On the Edge of Pride’ event so far and hopes to see West Coasters show their support by showing up.

Tickets to the event cost $10 for non-ANAF members and $5 for members. All proceeds will go back into the event, which Cootes hopes to turn into an annual calendar feature.

All entrants will receive a rainbow bracelet that reads ‘Ukee Pride. Tuff Pride.”


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Ucluelet dedicates off-leash dog park

“I think it’s great. Dogs need a space to run.”

Ucluelet artists launch pop-up art exhibition

Heyduck & Butler opened on July 1 and will run until August 31.

QUIZ: Put your knowledge of Canada to the test

How much do you know about our country?

Tofino and Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation release joint statement welcoming ‘respectful’ tourists

“We have adapted to the new landscape and are very eager to welcome you back.”

Province backs Hesquiaht First Nation hydro project with $4.1M

Ah’ta’apq Creek Hydropower Project would decrease First Nation’s dependence on diesel.

VIDEO: Musqueam Chief captures captivating footage of bald eagle catching meal

‘This is why we have chosen to live here since time immemorial,’ Chief Wayne Sparrow’s nephew says

Police ramp up efforts to get impaired drivers off B.C. roads this summer

July is dedicated to the Summer CounterAttack Impaired Driving Campaign

Migrant workers stage multi-city action for full status amid COVID-19 risks

‘COVID-19 has exacerbated an existing crisis’

Okanagan school drops ‘Rebels’ sports team name, citing links with U.S. Civil War

Name and formerly-used images “fly in the face” of the district’s human rights policy, says board chair

PHOTOS: B.C.’s top doc picks up personalized Fluevog shoes, tours mural exhibition

Murals of Gratitude exhibit includes at least one portrait of Henry alongside paintings of health-care workers

In troubled times: Independence Day in a land of confusion

Buffeted by invisible forces and just plain worn out, the United States of America celebrates its 244th birthday

Stop enforcing sex work laws during COVID-19, advocates say

There are provisions in Canada’s prostitution laws that make workers immune from prosecution, but not from arrest

Liberal party finished 2019 having spent $43 million, raised $42 million

All political parties had until midnight June 30 to submit their financial reports for last year

B.C. teacher loses licence after sexual relationships with two recently-graduated students

The teacher won’t be allowed to apply for a teaching certificate until 2035

Most Read