Popular belief is that pride month is rainbows and parades but that understanding misses the history of political acts of resistance such as the Compton’s Cafeteria riot, the Stonewall Uprising, and the Toronto Bathhouse Raids that are connected to pride month. We acknowledge, recognize and celebrate it as progress made in the political struggle for acceptance of the LGBTQ2S + people. For our student who identifies as a transgender, autistic, wheelchair user pride is about validating intersectionality, honouring the Black, racialized, and other pioneers in the movement who paved the way, the progress we have made in accepting and respecting those who are part of this community, and more about continuing to advance the effort for full inclusion.
In Ontario, especially in Toronto, where Pride began in Canada, we are reminded of 2016, where Black Lives Matter group protested at the parade against the police being invited, given the history of police violence towards the LGBTQIA+ community. This highlighted clearly the inequities and privileges that are rooted even in this struggle. It was the beginning of the revival of the true meaning of pride and the importance of a fair and just place for all in the community, no matter how they identify. The fight isn’t over as not every letter of the acronym (LGBTQIA+) is recognized, represented or respected equally. The LGBTQIA+ community has faced inequities, inequalities, and injustices for decades with the tragedies of Black and Brown trans* people being murdered, inequalities within queer specific healthcare, and unequal laws preventing trans kids from participating in sports.
Recognizing that this work has not reached its destination has encouraged us as a federally incorporated charitable non-profit organization based in Peel Region, to continue to be committed to building anti-racism anti-oppression (ARAO) – diversity equity inclusion (DEI) competency in the human services sector focused on the LGBTQIA+ community along with communities that continue to face inequalities, inequities, and injustices based on their various identities in society. The march needs to continue for everyone deserves to feel safe, respected, and no one should be subjected to violence, discrimination or hate ever.
LGBTQ2S+ is an acronym that stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer or Questioning, Two-Spirit.
LGBTQIA+ is lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (or questioning), intersex, and asexual (or allies).