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Weekend festival celebrates pride

By Kathy O'Reilly, North Island Eagle, September 29 2023

North Island residents were feeling proud Sept. 22-24.

On those dates, events for the Port Hardy Pride Society’s Pride Celebration took place with a vehicle parade Friday night and an all-day event Saturday at the Port Hardy Civic Centre.

Saturday kicked off with a walking parade from the Sacred Wolf Friendship Centre to the civic centre where from 1-4 p.m. attendees had the opportunity to tie-dye shirts, get their faces painted, sing some karaoke, and visit various booths. There was even the opportunity to learn some sword fighting, have a massage, eat some delicious, deep-fried wontons, and listen to DJ Fall on Beats. The evening was an adult only event complete with music, contests, and stand-up comedians. 

“Thank you to the Port Hardy Pride Society for organizing this event with the Sacred Wolf Friendship Centre,” said Port Hardy Mayor Pat Corbett-Labatt, who explained she was there representing not only the District of Port Hardy council, but its citizens.

“It’s amazing having this kind of pride celebration in our community and it’s amazing to have this kind of turnout,” Corbett-Labatt said.

“Pride celebration represents so much. It’s a time to celebrate our LGBTQ+ friends, colleagues, and community members. It stands for bravery.”  After the homophobic attacks in 1969, she said, the LGBTQ+ community “took to the streets to protest” in what is called the Stonewall Riots, or Stonewall Uprising. 

The uprising began in the early hours of June 28, 1969, when New York City police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay club located in Greenwich Village. The raid sparked a riot among bar patrons and neighbourhood residents as police roughly hauled employees and patrons out of the bar, leading to six days of protests and violent clashes. The Stonewall Riots served as a catalyst for the gay rights movement in the United States and around the world. “Unfortunately, you still have to be brave, and I am sorry that is the case still now, but we stand with you,” Corbett-Labatt said, adding “pride stands for truth, being who you want to truly be. It stands for courage; courage of all previous generations and courage for those that stand for their own truth. It stands for love – to be able to love yourself, love whoever you want, to love your community and love your country and try to make it fairer, free, and just. 

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Photo —Kelsea Taylor

The Port Hardy Pride Society’s Pride Celebration Sept. 22-24 kicked off with a car parade Friday night and a walk Saturday morning.

Menopause on the agenda at Gate House

By Kathy O'Reilly, North Island Eagle, September 29 2023

Perimenopause, menopause, and midlife transition will be on the hot seat at the Gate House Theatre Oct. 14.

Obstetrician and Gynaecologist Dr. Tracy Rodgers, a well-known speaker, will be sharing her knowledge on these topics from 1-3:30 p.m. There will also be an opportunity to ask questions.

Born and raised in Newfoundland, Rodgers attended Memorial University of Newfoundland and did her residency in Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Dalhousie University - graduating in 2002. 

“I worked in rural Nova Scotia for six years and then relocated to Vancouver Island in 2008.” 

In addition to her medical training, Rodgers has also completed certification with Brene Brown and the Daring Way community. 

Rodgers has practised general obstetrics and gynaecology for years and in recent years, her scope of practice has changed to an office-based practice with a focus on menopause management.

“Over 20 years of listening to patients struggle with their perimenopause and menopausal transitions I realized that our training in menopause care is insufficient and fails to address the impact that hormonal changes have on the lives of women,” she said.  

“The research is falsely portrayed in the media and there is so much unnecessary fear around hormone replacement therapy and menopausal management that many women suffer needlessly for years,” she continued.  

The impact of menopause is not reserved for women. It affects their partners, their children, their families, their communities. The perimenopause/menopause transition can last a decade or more and for many women, their lives become derailed. 

Menopause can also be a time of positive transformation and change and can be incredibly empowering. 

“I believe women need reliable information and support so that they can make the decisions that best suit their needs as they transition through the menopause and currently the medical system is not supporting women adequately through this inevitable life change,” Rodgers continued.

“I experienced a relatively early menopause, and it had a profound impact on my life and my functioning. My own experience through menopause is one of the reasons I became so passionate about how we care for women through this transition,” she said. 

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Photo —Submitted

Dr. Tracy Rodgers, a well-known speaker, will be sharing her knowledge on these topics from 1-3:30 p.m.  on Oct. 14 at the Gate House Theatre.

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