Don’t BE Afraid founder a ‘local hero,’ says Halifax Pride

John Brannen
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HALIFAX – Pictou County native Scott Jones will speak at one of Nova Scotia’s most fabulous pride events.

Part of the Don’t BE Afraid team includes Sherise Jones, left, Caitlin Bowers, Scott Jones, Colleen Fraser and Charlotte Marchesseault. Jones will speak at Halifax Pride’s annual Fancy Gay Dress Party Mardi Gras on March 15 at the Westin Nova Scotian Commonwealth Ballroom. FACEBOOK

Halifax Pride will hold its annual Fancy Gay Dress Party Mardi Gras on March 15 at the Westin Nova Scotian Commonwealth Ballroom.

The party is Halifax Pride’s most fabulous gala event and is an opportunity for members of the LGBTQ+ community and their allies to get dressed up and support the ongoing work of Halifax Pride.

The guest speaker for the evening’s festivities will be Jones, who survived a brutal stabbing last fall in downtown New Glasgow. The attack has left his lower body paralyzed, leaving him in a wheelchair.

“We’re a huge supporter of Scott and the grace and courage he’s shown is an inspiration to the community,” said Ramona Westgate, chair of Halifax Pride. “We’re looking forward to hearing more about him and the Don’t BE Afraid campaign.”

Jones, realizing the need to counter homophobia and raise awareness through understanding, launched the initiative called Don’t Be Afraid, which aims to educate and inform people, particularly in rural communities, of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer LGBTQ+ issues.

“We are delighted that Scott has agreed to join us as a guest at our event and we look forward to seeing you as well,” read a release from Halifax Pride. “We certainly hope he’ll be involved with Halifax Pride long after this event.”

Events under the Don’t BE Afraid banner are being held throughout Canada as photos of the rainbow logo flood in from all over the world.

All the proceeds from Don’t BE Afraid’s March 8 at Summer Street Industries will be donated to the Rainbow Refugee Association of Nova Scotia (RRANS).

“In many countries, it is still illegal to be LGBTQ, and in some, homosexuality is punishable by death,” read the post on their Facebook page. “RRANS raises money to sponsor LGBTQ refugees, helping them escape persecution and transition to life in Canada. Recently, RRANS sponsored three Iranian refugees.”

For more information, you can visit the Halifax Pride website. Tickets for the evening may be purchased for $125 a seat by visiting the website link or by calling (902) 431-1194.

Halifax Pride is a nonprofit organization of volunteers dedicated to producing a LGBTQ+ Pride Festival.

Organizations: Rainbow Refugee Association of Nova Scotia, Westin Nova Scotian, Street Industries

Geographic location: New Glasgow, Canada

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