TW: This post discusses the history of 2SLGBTQIA+ rights and oppression, and may be triggering. Please use your discretion and practice self-care. Mental health resources are available here.

Pride Month, celebrated around the world in the month of June, is a time to celebrate and reflect on the achievements of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community. It is a time to recognize the challenges faced by this community and support the fight for 2SLGBTQIA+ equality, acceptance, and human rights. While June is Pride Month, Pride celebrations take place all summer long, with Vancouver Pride being celebrated in August. Pride at the Pier, the North Shore’s Pride event, is on August 2nd, 2024.

The history of Pride Month is rooted in the struggle for 2SLGBTQIA+ rights. Originating from the Stonewall Riots of 1969 in New York City, Pride Month has evolved into a global movement for equality and acceptance. In Canada and around the world, Pride Month serves as a reminder of the progress made towards 2SLGBTQIA+ rights and the work that still needs to be done.

In Canada the first demonstration for 2SLGBTQIA+ rights was in 1971, with the first Pride celebrations in 1973. The decriminalization of homosexuality in 1969 was a major step forward, followed by the addition of sexual orientation to the Canadian Human Rights Act in 1996. The legalization of same-sex marriage in 2005 was another landmark achievement, making Canada one of the first countries in the world to recognize marriage equality.

Despite these advancements, challenges persist for the 2SLGBTQIA+ community in Canada and globally. Discrimination, violence, and systemic barriers continue to affect 2SLGBTQIA+ individuals, particularly those who are marginalized due to intersecting identities such as race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status. In many countries, 2SLGBTQIA+ individuals face persecution, imprisonment, and even death because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Supporting 2SLGBTQIA+ rights globally requires solidarity, advocacy, and a commitment to challenging discriminatory laws and attitudes.

Pride Month provides an opportunity to raise awareness about these issues and advocate for positive change. It is a time to celebrate diversity, promote inclusion, and affirm the rights of all individuals to live authentically and without fear of discrimination.

As we celebrate Pride Month in June and beyond, let us honour and celebrate the bravery and resilience of those who have fought for 2SLGBTQIA+ rights and acknowledge the work that still needs to be done. By standing together in solidarity, we can create a world where everyone can live openly, authentically, and with dignity, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

 

Resources for 2SLGBTQIA+ People and their Families

Rainbow Refugee: a Vancouver based organization that promotes safe, equitable migration and communities of belonging for people fleeing persecution based on their sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or HIV status. https://www.rainbowrefugee.com/

Sher Vancouver: providing arts and cultural, and social service programs and services to queer South Asians and their friends, families, and allies in Metro Vancouver. https://www.shervancouver.com/

Qmunity: a non-profit organization based in Vancouver, BC that works to improve queer, trans, and Two-Spirit lives. https://qmunity.ca/

What’s On Queer BC: Events, news, stories, and resources for the 2SLGBTQIA+ community in BC. https://whatsonqueerbc.com/lgbtq-links

Pflag Canada – Vancouver: In communities across the country, the Pflag Canada network provides peer support, education and advocacy for a Canada that affirms, respects and values all sexualities, genders and gender expressions. http://www.pflagvancouver.com/

Fierté Canada Pride: the national association of Canadian Pride organizations. https://www.fiertecanadapride.org/

 

Resources to Learn More about the 2SLGBTQIA+ Community

Egale – 2SLGBTQIA+ terms and definitions: https://egale.ca/awareness/terms-and-definitions/

Our Spectrum –  2SLGBTQIA+ Terminology Guide and Media Reference Tool: https://www.ourspectrum.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/05/2SLGBTQIA-Terminology-and-Media-Reference-Tool.pdf

The Genderbread Person – easy-to-use guide on gender identity, gender expression, sexuality, and more: https://www.itspronouncedmetrosexual.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Genderbread-Person-v4.png

Pride at Work – training for organizations and workplaces: https://education.prideatwork.ca/