Supporters of LGBTQ rights gathered at English Bay Saturday morning to go for a seaside walk in some unconventional footwear.

Participants in the fourth annual Strut Vancouver walk-a-thon took a 1.6 kilometre stroll along the seawall sporting their most outrageous heels in support of LGBTQ refugees who may have faced persecution in their home countries because of their sexuality.

The annual event originated as the flagship fundraiser for the Foundation of Hope, a Canadian organization whose goal is to enhance the lives of LGBTQ migrants and their families who are looking to flee countries where they’re being prosecuted for their sexual orientation.

“Some of these stories are so heart wrenching,” said Carl Meadows, president of the Foundation of Hope. “Many of the women in these countries, particularly the female to male transgender people, can’t even get access to documentation without males signing for them.”

The walk uses stilettos to defy gender norms while promoting inclusion and raising awareness of migrant suffering.

“It’s one of those things that helps me sleep at night, knowing that we’re doing something,”

Working with charities across the country, the foundation ensures these groups get the funding they need to provide essential services to LGBTQ refugees.