Pride Season 2016

Wednesday, June 1, 2016
To Saturday, September 24, 2016
12:00 AM to 12:00 AM

OPSEU at Pride

Members of the Rainbow Alliance arc-en-ciel will be attending various Pride events and festivals this summer.  They are scheduled to take place at various locations across the province.  The Alliance is energized, empowered and inspired by members, locals and communities who have joined in the ongoing fight for equal rights for all. 

OPSEU members, Executive Board Members, staff, family, friends and allies are encouraged to come out and show their support.  For individuals interested in volunteering and/or would like further information on how to become involved, please send an e-mail to

Schedule of Events

Region 1

July 14-24, 2016

August 2016

August 3-7, 2016

Region 2

tri-Pride (Cambridge, Kitchener, Waterloo)
May 24-June 5, 2016 (Pride Week)

June 2016

June 18, 2016

July 11-16, 2016

Region 3

June 1-5, 2016

June 11, 2016

York Region
June 11-19 (Pride Week)

July 15-24, 2016

July 28-August 6, 2016

September 17-24, 2016

Region 4

June 11, 2016

June 18 &19, 2016

July 16-23, 2016

July 16, 2016

August 15-21, 2016

Region 5

June 24-July 3 (Pride Week)

Click here for information on OPSEU at Toronto Pride.

Region 6

June 6-12, 2016

July 18-24, 2016

Sault Ste Marie
September 2016 (Pride Fest)

Region 7

Thunder Bay
June 11-18, 2016

What is Pride?

To the LGBTTIAQQ2S (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, intersex, asexual, queer, questioning, two-spirited) community and their allies, Pride is a reaffirmation that discrimination based on one's sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression will not be tolerated.  A cornerstone in gay rights social movements, Pride also calls for an end to violence against the LGBTTIAQQ2S community.  It is about preserving one’s dignity and ensuring that access to the same rights and services is fair and just.  In addition, it is a celebration of sexual, gender and family diversity.   

June is Pride month

June was chosen as Pride month to commemorate the Stonewall riots which were a series of spontaneous demonstrations initiated by the gay community.  They were a jarring response to an early morning police raid that took place on June 28, 1969 at the Stonewall Inn, in New York City.  Prior to the riots, police raids on gay bars were quite frequent and often involved violence and physical force.  The Stonewall riots are widely considered to be one of the single most important events in the gay rights movement in the United States.  

This movement started to make its way to Canada in August 1971 when protests and demonstrations took place in Ottawa and Vancouver.  In 1981, the police raids of Toronto's bathhouses pushed tensions between the gay community and the police over the edge.  Over 300 men were arrested but most of the charges were later dropped.  These raids established Lesbian and Gay Pride Day in Toronto and would later be known as Toronto Pride.  Today, it is one of the largest gay festivals in the world.    

This month also serves as an important time to reflect upon the many achievements of the LGBTTIAQQ2S community.  Throughout the years, such accomplishments have included:

  • in 1969, the decriminalization of homosexuality in Canada with the passage of the Criminal Law Amendment Act (1968-1969);
  • in 1986, the addition of sexual orientation as a prohibited ground of discrimination to the Ontario Human Rights Code.  When the Code first took effect in 1962, it was the first of its kind in Canada because it dealt with different kinds of discrimination; 
  • in 1990, the World Health Organization (WHO) removed homosexuality, listed as a mental illness, from the International Classification of Diseases.  This paved the way for the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT).  Today, it is commemorated annually on May 17;  
  • in 1996, sexual orientation was included as a prohibited ground of discrimination under the Canadian Human Rights Act;
  • in 2005, Canada became the first country in the Americas and the fourth in the world, to legalize same sex marriage with the passage of the Civil Marriage Act;   
  • in 2012, discrimination based on gender identity and gender expression were incorporated into the Ontario Human Rights Code as prohibited grounds of discrimination;
  • in 2013, Kathleen Wynne, Canada's first openly gay First Minister, was sworn in as Premier of Ontario;
  • in 2014, Toronto hosted WorldPride which marked the first time it was held in North America.  Overall, it was the fourth time such an event was held in the world; and
  • in May of 2016, the Canadian government tabled Bill C-16 which will protect the rights of transgender people from discrimination under the Canadian Human Rights Act.  In addition, hate crime provisions under the Criminal Code would also protect gender identity and expression. 

Pride also recognizes the hard work and sacrifices which were made in attaining these achievements.  The individuals, at the forefront and behind the scenes, have been instrumental in paving the road to where the LGBTTIAQQ2S community finds itself today.  Yet, the fight for equal rights continues to be a work in progress because homosexuality is still considered illlegal in many parts of the world.  The hope is that this struggle for fairness will not last forever.  Happy Pride!   

For more information:

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