Voices of Pride

Photos by Kristy Reimer

Summer 2024

June is Pride Month in Airdrie (see event listing on page 30 of the summer 2024 issue), but, year-round, our Pride community celebrates who they are while facing obstacles and challenges to simply live their best life. We are pleased to share the experiences and thoughts of three members of the Airdrie Pride community.

El LeCerf (They/them)

At seven years old, I first sensed I wasn’t straight, though I lacked the words for it then. While my cousins swooned over the male lead in a movie, I was drawn to the female lead. Growing up as a shy, Christian homeschooled child in a conservative area, I felt out of place. As I matured, I realized I didn’t fit neatly into traditional gender categories — I was simply myself. Being referred to as “she” felt like a stab to my heart.

Despite pressure to conform, I eventually came out as bisexual after leaving my parents’ home, facing backlash from family and friends. Even after marrying and having children, I felt something was missing. Dating a woman alongside my husband didn’t fill the void.

After my marriage ended, I moved back home and began exploring my identity further. Transitioning to they/them pronouns and a more neutral nickname felt liberating — no more cringing or sharp pain when misgendered.

Over a year since coming out as non-binary transmasc, I feel confident, yet navigating life in Airdrie as a trans person presents challenges. Often, I must tolerate being misgendered for safety reasons. Despite the struggles, I embrace who I am and yearn for greater acceptance from others, knowing I’m still the same person inside.

AL: What does acceptance look like to you?

EL: Acceptance to me means not being afraid to be myself. Not making myself smaller, more palpable, so that others treat me with respect. It means not being afraid of making the decisions that are best for me

because I have to consider my own safety. Acceptance would be people accepting me for who I am, not for who they think I am or who they think I should be. It’s just … me being me, and others loving me not despite, but regardless.


Melissa Willmott (She/her)

It was 1985, and my dad had rented us a Betamax player for the weekend as I settled down in front of the TV to watch Supergirl in my footie pajamas on the shag carpet, I discovered my Kryptonite. Supergirl (actress Helen Slater) was the most beautiful person I had ever seen! But, confusion set in — did I want to fight bad guys with Supergirl, or did I want to kiss her? What did this mean?

Growing up in a very “gay is A-OK” household on Vancouver Island provided a supportive foundation for my journey of self-discovery. Despite this, articulating my identity proved challenging; I knew the words “gay,” “lesbian” and “straight,” but, even as a child, I found that none of these seemed to fit quite right. It wasn’t until I was 19 that I felt comfortable publicly identifying as bisexual, and later pansexual, recognizing my attraction regardless of gender, sex or presentation.

Moving to Airdrie brought challenges and opportunities. The tragic loss of a local youth spurred me into action, leading me to join the Airdrie Pride Society as youth engagement director. Organizing events for 2SLGBTQIA+ youth and their allies each month for the PRYSM youth group and collaborating on Airdrie’s Queer Prom with Boys and Girls Airdrie Club has been incredibly fulfilling. My recent focus has been on relaunching our Parenting with Pride program, providing support to caregivers of queer youth.

In a city like Airdrie, initiatives like PRYSM and Parenting with Pride play a crucial role in fostering understanding and acceptance within our community. Realistically, I know that I can’t save everyone from feeling alone. I’m no Supergirl, but, with each event and program, I strive to create inclusive environments where youth and their caregivers feel safe … and maybe that’s a little bit super.

AL: Melissa, what advice do you have for caregivers?

MW: Practise active listening. Create a safe and open space for youth to express themselves freely and share their experiences. Let them know that you’re there to support them unconditionally, validate their feelings and identity, and, please, use their chosen pronouns. Sometimes, just being there to listen can make all the difference.


Kameron Seabrook (They/them)

I knew that some parts of my identity differed from my peers since I was little. I did things that were somewhat “quirky” to hide that weird part of me. Once I started seeing more queer visibility in media, I began to realize I was probably queer. While attending the Junior High Leadership Conference, a speaker used the term “non-binary.” Having no previous knowledge of what that meant, I began to research.

After lots of consideration, “non-binary” seemed like a fitting title for me and I have stayed with that label since late 2019. Later, my name became an issue. I felt like it tied me to my life before I knew who I was. A few different names later, I found Kameron felt best for me around May 2021.

My romantic identity hasn’t been as smooth-sailing. I have bounced around a variety of different identities, and I never had one feel right to describe me. Romantic identity labels always felt too forced when I tried to identify with them. I decided to say I am “unlabelled in that department.” As long as I know what I prefer, I can be happy. Being any part of the queer community in today’s world is not in any way easy. I have, and continue to deal with, many people’s public and outdated opinions.

I have since gotten involved in the Airdrie Pride Society by attending events like PRYSM, Pages of Pride, Community Coffee and Pride festivals. I got the opportunity to write a blog post for the Airdrie Pride Society and speak at the last Pride Festival. I’ve found such a great community of friends these past few years who understand and accept all our identities. If I had known everything that happened, I would do it again.

AL: The one piece of advice you would give your younger self today?

KS: Don’t stay friends with people just out of fear of being alone. You’ll feel more alone the more you stay in that group.

To find support in Airdrie, please contact