One of this year’s Pride parade grand marshals is Syrian refugee Danny Ramadan.
At the official Pride Week proclamation ceremony today (July 25) at the new Jim Deva plaza in the West End, Ramadan spoke about why the day before, July 24, is an important and emotional day for him every year.
He said that in 2014, he woke up on July 24 at 8 a.m. to a phone call from Canadian Embassy after being a Syrian refugee in Lebanon for two years. He was informed that his visa was approved and he was finally able to come to Canada.
“Being out of the closet in the Middle East is a very difficult place to be,” Ramadan said. “I feared for my safety every single day. I feared for people around me, for the society I lived in. I feared the looks of people at me.”
Ramadan, who is now a volunteer coordinator at Qmunity as well as a community activist, said his life has completely changed since he has experienced the freedom to be LGBT in Vancouver.