MEDICINE HAT, AB – Pride Month is coming to a close but one downtown business will keep the flag flying all year.
Moose & Squirrel Artisan Village owners Carrie and Ian Sand raised the Pride flag on Saturday.
“The concept of the property is a safe space for all and that includes LGBTQ community,” says Carrie. “I come from the [west] coast so when you see these types of issues, they’re very common there, it’s not an issue. It’s kind of just mainstream and here I’m finding it’s not as mainstream as it should be or as it could be and I just want to bring a piece of that here.”
The flag is at the entrance and flutters over the sidewalk on Second Street.Prism Medicine Hat, a community-led group that aims to support and empower 2SLGBTQIA+ people in the community, says it’s Medicine Hat’s first permanent Pride flag.Carrie and Ian moved from B.C. and opened Moose & Squirrel last June. In that time she’s met many people from the LGBTQ community and says some have told her they don’t feel safe and can’t walk down the street and hold hands with their partner.
She says she’s received positive comments from the community about the flag and other symbols of support at Moose & Squirrel such as Every Child Matters. She also received some negative comments, but she won’t be deterred and hopes to see more permanent flag installations or other supportive symbols around the city.
“Because it does mean a lot to the community I think as more businesses do it or as more people do it I think it becomes more the norm,” she says.