Coming soon to a city street near you… Sunday September 4th, 2016 will witness Calgary’s 26th annual “Pride Parade”, and it promises to the biggest, and most colourfully flamboyant to date. This year Pride Calgary is thrilled to have received special permission to close additional roads, allowing for “100+ entries to participate”. Also (as was the case in 2015), the celebration will take place primarily on “9th Avenue, the same place where the Calgary Stampede parade occurs every year!” . This change “will allow for bigger and better parade entries, as well as increased safety for spectators and participants.” 
Numbers just keep swelling, if you’ll pardon the double entendre, and organizers figger on biggering and biggering and buggering… our sensibilities… once more. The event promises to be a delightful affair, a wondrously gay experience for all, even those unaffiliated with the “cause”. There’s a revitalized family zone, where children of all ages can frolic on a massive bouncy slide, navigate an obstacle course and work on free crafts to boot. Rae Spoon, the transgender electronic-influenced indie rock and folk punk musician, will be the Grand Marshall this year. Is it a man or a woman? Nobody knows, least of all he / she.  The rainbow bus will be rolled out once more, a garish $9000 limo paid for paid for by you and by me, by Calgary Transit, Pattison Outdoor and Pride Calgary.
They no longer call it the Gay Pride Parade, of course, for this could be viewed as restrictive, maybe even exclusive or abusive sounding. We’ve moved beyond the boundaries encompassed by the word ‘gay’, it’s just not a big enough word. Although the word ‘gay’ has been forever ruined in the traditional literal sense, it’s now a bit passé in the queer sense. There’s a whole new way of seeing nowadays, and a new list of new letters to memorize: LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer). Can anyone explain the difference between gay and queer? Can homosexuals? More letters appear every year, and we can certainly look forward to adding ‘P’ for Pedophiles , and ‘F’ for Furverts  in the not too distant future. At the rate things are going we may well also add ‘M’ for masturbators (who one day soon, we can only pray, will be allowed to marry their hands.)