This PRIDE post comes from the LGBTQ2S+ Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Working Group at Island Health.
The first PRIDE week in Canada was in 1973. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender rights events were held in several Canadian cities including Vancouver, Ottawa, Montreal, Saskatoon and Winnipeg.
There was an arts festival, a documentary screening and a rally that laid the foundation for modern day PRIDE celebrations.
There has been slow progress toward greater recognition, inclusion and expanded rights over the past 50 years. These gains have been made because people in LGBTQ2+ communities and their allies have educated, protested, legislated, sued, and advocated for an end to discrimination and inequity.
PRIDE has always been a mixture of protest and celebration – some years there has been more to protest and some years there has been more to celebrate. It has been an unsettling and difficult two years with the pandemic and the lives lost to racism and colonization.
We are in a time of reckoning. We are listening with greater openness to truths of others, accepting that we all have very different experiences in the world depending on the colour of our skin, indigeneity, ability, sex, gender identity and expression, or sexual orientation. And, there is so much that we share – foremost, a desire to be accepted, to feel loved, to belong.
Because we cannot yet come together again in person for PRIDE celebrations, we will once again be posting a number of PRIDE-related articles and videos throughout June – starting with President and CEO Kathy MacNeil's PRIDE video:
Happy (virtual) PRIDE 2021!