Pride is political: OPSEU/SEFPO joins labour allies to march for equal rights

People holding up sign saying Pride is Political

OPSEU/SEFPO took part in massive Pride celebrations in Toronto over the weekend. OPSEU/SEFPO’s first queer President JP Hornick marched in Sunday’s Pride Parade alongside First Vice-President Treasurer Laurie Nancekivell, members of the Rainbow Alliance arc-en-ciel including Region 5 representative Robert Hampsey, and OPSEU/SEFPO staff.

The Toronto Pride parade returned to the city’s streets for the first time since 2019. Tens of thousands of people joined the march and lined the parade route. Labour leaders marched behind a banner, “Pride is Political” – a message which was given fresh urgency by the events of the preceding days.

On Saturday, following the Dyke March, Hornick spoke to a large crowd outside the U.S. Consulate, gathering in solidarity with people in the U.S. in the wake of the Roe Vs Wade ruling. Earlier that day, news also broke of the horrific attack on Oslo, outside a gay nightclub, killing two people and injuring 21.

In recognition of the victims of hate in the Oslo attack and Roe v. Wade being struck down, Hornick’s comments to the crowd underscored the resistance that continues to buttress our celebrations:

“We must not lose our vigilance because Canada is the next stop on this tour. We are already under attack here. And until every person has access to reproductive justice our work is not done. We need to stand in solidarity with every person whose body is being targeted. We have to realize that class, race, ability all have a huge impact on access to reproductive justice. So I promise you on behalf of the 180,000 members of OPSEU/SEFPO, the workers of this province, that we will not rest until this battle is won. And we will do it together.”

A huge amount of organizing went into OPSEU/SEFPO Pride events over the weekend, including the Pride Brunch, hosted by the Coalition of Racialized Workers (CORW). Thanks to all, with a special thank you to CORW representative Elizabeth Ha. The post-Parade BBQ, hosted by Executive Board Members Coleen Houlder and Julius Arscott, was enjoyed by all and was a great way to end the day.

OPSEU/SEFPO Pride events will be taking place across our communities for the rest of June and they will continue for the next few months. Tag us at @opseu on Facebook and Twitter and at @opseusefpo on Instagram to share your pride!

See photos from the Toronto Pride parade!