Empowerment. Engagement. Authenticity.

VocalEye Virtual Presentations - Virtual Vancouver Pride

Kristy and Shawn at the 2019 Vancouver Pride Parade

Again, I have procrastinated on writing this review.

This time, I chalk it up to the virtual experience not coming close to the fun, fanfare and flamboyance of the real thing.

I'm referring to Vancouver's Virtual Pride, presented to people with vision loss by VocalEye Descriptive Arts, on August 2, 2020.

I will say that Vancouver managed to throw together a diverse display of pride through pre-recorded messages and 2019 flashbacks. I applaud our describer, Eileen, for keeping up with the fast montages so that those of us who couldn't see the action weren't left out.

But… I experienced the Vancouver Pride Parade live for the first time in 2019 and was dazzled and delighted. I was looking forward to this year's parade as well as the events in my New Westminster neighbourhood.

Curse Covid 19.

Ah well, fingers crossed for next year.

So…meh on the parade, such as it was.

Now, the virtual pride walk did sound interesting. I wish I'd had more notice so that I could have toured the exhibits myself in person. Eileen, with input from VocalEye's Chair Chris Cuchaleon, did their best to describe the breadth and depth and textures of each art piece but, as a person with some usable vision who loves to take photos, I missed the real experience.

Disappointed but sufficiently engaged on that one.

The live author readings perked up the writer in me, although the chosen selections had my English major brain wondering what had motivated each author to read the pieces they did.

When Chris Cuchaleon spoke of the rupture, as in the realization that he could no longer hide his true identity from himself and others, it made me think of my similar experience.

I was nine when I realized that, although I viewed myself as just like everyone else, no one else did.

Chris' confusion and dawning horror stemmed from a place of sexuality while mine revolved around my disability but I understood well the feeling of that safe bubble bursting.

So my experience of Vancouver's Virtual Pride ended on a high note, ironic as it sounds.

But…can we get back to live events soon, please?

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