Amherst teens invite PM to Pride events

Dear Mr. Prime Minister


Published on May 19, 2017

Rohin McKenney holds up a copy of the letter he sent to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau inviting him to Amherst for the Pride flag-raising ceremony on May 24 or the town’s first Pride Parade on June 3.

©Darrell Cole - Amherst News

AMHERST – Mason Carter did not have an easy time sharing the fact he is transgendered.

The 15-year-old Amherst Regional High School student said admitting he was gay was much easier for his friends than telling them that he was transgendered.
“It was difficult at first and I had a few problems,” said Carter, who came out as being transgendered several months ago. “It’s going great now, everything has been smoothed over since then.”
Carter said his mother told him she saw something on Facebook about a Pride parade and suggested he get involved.
Now, he and fellow Grade 10 student Rohin McKenney have sent letters to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau inviting him to Amherst to participate either in the Pride flag-raising ceremony on May 24 or the Pride Parade on June 3.
As member of Amherst Youth Town Council, McKenney said he and other councilors try to get involved in community activities and one of them the group heard about was the Pride parade.
He represented AYTC on the Cumberland Pride organizing committee and it was from that he and Carter decided to write the prime minister.
“It would be amazing to see him at our event because you see him at events in the big cities, but we haven’t seen him at a Pride event in a small, rural town. It would great to see him come here in support of LGBTQ,” McKenney said. “We know the time frame is tight and we’re trying to be optimistic because you never know what can happen.”
Carter said having the prime minister event acknowledge their letters would mean so much to the LGBTQ community.
“It would send a message that Canada truly is accepting if he were to come to an event such as this in a small town like Amherst,” Carter said. “I know he’s done it in big cities like Toronto and Vancouver, but it would be really nice if he’d come to Amherst.”
Carter said it’s important for young people to be introduced to and participate in events such as Pride celebration because he feels the younger you are the easier it is to accept something new or different.
Carter is thrilled Cumberland Pride is organizing the flag-raising ceremony on May 24 as well as the town’s first Pride parade on Saturday, June 3 beginning in Victoria Square.
“It’s not about trying to brainwash people, but it’s about telling everyone it’s OK to be yourself, regardless of what you are as long as your opinions and actions don’t hurt anyone else.”
darrell.cole@tc.tc
Twitter: @ADNdarrell