In 1994, Joanne Law marched in her first Capital Pride Parade. She was one of, by her count, two transgendered women in the entire march. This Sunday, she’ll be leading it as Grand Parade Marshal.
“My joke is that I’ll be the first at the gate and first at the beer tent,” Law said, but the longtime community activist and volunteer has a history of firsts.
Last year, she chaired Capital Pride, the first transgendered person to head a Pride festival in Canada.
She invited members of the military to participate, but didn’t get a response. This year, Pride organizers say members of the military and RCMP have been cleared to march, another first for Ottawa.
Of all the changes she has seen over the years, Law said she’s proudest of “having the Liaison Committee and deputy chiefs and staff and people of the Ottawa Police Service standing and marching with us, not behind us, you know?”
Again, Law was early out of the gate, having worked with the Ottawa Police Service GBLT Liaison since 1993.
How does Law sum up 25 years as a transgendered person and award-winning volunteer? “Been there, done that, and saw the 8mm movie.”