Manitoba Lieutenant Governor

Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba

The Honourable Anita R. Neville, P.C., O.M.

35th Annual Pride Festival Parade and Rally

Remarks by

The Honourable Anita Neville, P.C., O.M.

Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba


Manitoba Legislative Building

Sunday, June 4, 2023, 10 a.m.

(please check against delivery)

Friends and members of the pride community, what a pleasure to join you this morning.

As Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba, as we gather on the steps of the Manitoba Legislative Building, I honour and acknowledge that we are gathered on Treaty One land, and in the heartland of the Red River Metis.

This beautiful and diverse province is also the ancestral and the present-day home of the Anishinaabe, Cree, Dakota, and Dene peoples.

I also recognize that northern Manitoba includes lands that were, and are, the ancestral lands of the Inuit.

Together, we will continue to work to hear truths, and to advance understanding, opportunity, and healing for all.

Since the first brave marchers took to the street in Winnipeg’s first pride parade in 1987, Pride Winnipeg has been building a more understanding and diverse province and helping to make this a place where we can all be ourselves and celebrate our unique gifts.

It is a joy to look out at this gathering and see Manitobans of all ages and  all backgrounds sharing in that spirit.

We all know that the pressure to conform can be suffocating – for young and for old. So many of us have at one time or another been afraid of what others would think – about our bodies and clothing, our voices and words, our true selves.

The LGBTTQ* community, through events like Pride parades and rallies, has taught all of us to stand up to those fears. The LGBTTQ* community has taught us all to have the courage to be who we are.

There will be plenty of dancing along the parade route today and afterwards during the entertainment at the Forks.

So many people are afraid to dance – afraid that they don’t have the right moves or rhythm, afraid that somebody out there will be watching them like the mean judge on a dance competition TV show.

Pride has taught us all that, in the words of Gertrude Stein, “You look ridiculous if you dance. You look ridiculous if you don’t dance. So you might as well dance.”

At a time when some are trying to attack our freedoms to be ourselves by pulling books from libraries – among them books with LGBTTQ* themes – you can dance to celebrate the achievements of Pride or you can dance to defy those people who don’t want you to dance.

But either way, you might as well dance.

Thank you and happy pride – Merci, Meegwich.