PRIDE is one of my favorite celebrations- to me it’s a time to celebrate diversity, celebrate difference, and it’s certainly a time to feel the love! This year will be my third pride and I am PROUD to say that once again I’ll be representing the ALLIES to the queer and Tran’s community! Of course I will have my LGBTQ family with me, but every year I find myself so overwhelmed with emotion by all of the beautiful people I meet and the unity that exists between every one - gay or straight.
But come the day after, the celebrating stops and we go back to fighting for equality, and back to challenging the discrimination that exists within and amongst this community. While I love to see people from all colors of the rainbow and all the many diverse groups interact with one another, and while I love that those who may have their biases about the queer community challenged by increasing their awareness, I believe that we need to be celebrating the histories of LGBTQ people every day of the year and not just for one designated week.
This year there is so much to celebrate! The queer and Tran’s community have broken down so many barriers! Just this month, Ontario became the first Canadian province to recognize gender identity in its Human Rights Code. These amendments will now protect the rights of Transgender people and prohibit discrimination by adding the language of “gender identity” and “gender expression”. This code has not been amended since 1980! While there is still so much work to be done in terms of education and awareness around the Trans community, this is HUGE!!
Recently we saw the debate over allowing GSA’S in catholic secondary schools turn in a more positive direction! Due to the amendments in Bill 13, students can now gather openly and create safe spaces in which they can build community around and take pride in their sexual identities! This is another HUGE step in the fight against the elimination of discrimination and bullying against queer and Trans youth! It starts with creating awareness.
This Pride, I am going to celebrate these milestones in the LGBTQ histories as an ALLY, and I am going to continue to be an ally in the fight against homophobia, transphobia and heterosexism!
PRIDE for me is all about celebrating diversity and celebrating the LOVE! I love the energy, I love the culture that emerges and the art that comes alive. I love the community that energizes all - whether gay or straight. I love all the wonderful events both for the party goers, the queer and Tran’s families and the quieter ones alike. I love the parade and beautiful array of costumes and colors. I love it when I see 2 parents of a Tran’s youth holding a sign that says “I support my transgender teen”. I love the people! So bring on the love!!
Discrimination and Harassment Prevention Services
is a Ryerson Faculty of Arts Alumni, graduating from the Arts and Contemporary Studies program in 2011. She is now a staff member at Ryerson's Discrimination and Harassment PreventionServices (DHPS). Throughout her undergrad, she worked at DHPS as a Peer Trainer and Coordinator for the Positive Space ALLY program, a community program which focuses on creating and maintaining safer spaces for members of Ryerson's LGBTQ community through awareness and education. She continues to be an ALLY to the queer community and is passionate about issues of diversity, equity, inclusion and human rights.