June 27 is Pride Day 2021, viewed as the finale to Pride Month. Pride Day celebrates the TLGBTIAPQQ2S+ (Trans, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual, Intersex, Asexual, Pansexual, Queer, Questioning, 2-Spirited) community and often coincides with Toronto’s Pride March.
This year’s Pride festivities have once again been canceled or moved to virtual platforms as the pandemic continues.
“Pride visibility is crucial — especially when opposing groups go to considerable lengths to put the TLGBTIAPQQ2S+ at the margins of society,” said OPSEU/SEFPO President, Warren (Smokey) Thomas. “We need more acts of Pride throughout the year to show solidarity and enhance representation. I encourage everyone to participate in local virtual Pride festivities and show support for the community that’s been greatly impacted by the pandemic.”
While Pride is now synonymous with festive celebrations, it began as a series of riots led by racialized Trans women against police brutality and racial, gender, and sexual orientation discrimination. Today, our celebrations are a reaffirmation that discrimination will not be tolerated.
“Pride is empowering!” said Morgen Veres, Co-Chair of OPSEU/SEFPO’s Rainbow Alliance arc-en-ciel. “Pride events are about human rights; they empower the TLGBTIAPQQ2S+ community to reclaim the rights and freedoms they are denied, and the public space they are often excluded from.”
Pride contributes to changing hearts and minds. Pride events show that change is possible, even when homophobic and transphobic attitudes exist; sending a strong message to the local population and beyond. It demonstrates a commitment from authorities to uphold TLGBTIAPQQ2S+ rights and shows that activism can bring change.
“I’m inspired by the TLGBTIAPQQ2S+ community” said OPSEU/SEFPO First Vice President and Treasurer, Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida. “The community has shown strength and resilience during the most challenging times; historically marching in the face of threats and violence.”
TLGBTIAPQQ2S+ rights are human rights, and we must continue to demand equality for all worldwide.
Show your solidarity this Pride Day by updating your social media profile picture to the Pride flag (below) or by adding a Pride frame. You can also download and share the Pride Flags poster below.
Click on the links below: