Happy Pride Month everyone!
It’s June! Time to celebrate all of the beautiful LGBT+ friends, family, co-workers, students, brothers, sisters and non-binary folk that continue to bring colour and life to the world we live in. A full 30 days of love, fun and pride! It’s the time of year when we recognize the beauty, talents, work and value of sexual and gender diverse folk who too often are treated as second best, dehumanized and used at the butt of jokes, even today.
Here in Ottawa, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (or JT as the young locals like to call him) raised the iconic rainbow Pride flag on Parliament Hill for the first time in Canadian history this week and announced that he would be attending this year’s Toronto Pride Parade, the largest parade of its kind in the country. “It’s not going to be my first time”, JT says to the crowd. He’s been a regular at Pride events for the past few years as many more and more party leaders have embraced the annual celebration.
— John Aldag MP (@jwaldag) June 1, 2016
The raising of the flag isn’t the only exciting LGBT+ related news coming out of Ottawa recently. On May 17th, Bill C-16, An Act to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code, was introduced by the Honourable Minister of Justice Jody Wilson-Raybould. While trans Canadians already have full equal rights across Canada under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the passing of this bill will add the terms “gender identity or expression” to the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal code to help clarify and solidify these rights to all. TL;DR Bill C-16 will ensure that trans Canadians and their rights are really being taken seriously by the government.
Canada has shown an increasing amount of support to the LGBT+ community since 2005 with the legalization of same-sex marriage, being only the fourth country to do so at the time. Not to say that Canadian society has 100% accommodated folk of all sexual and gender identities; there is still a lot to work on regarding acceptance, desexualisation and treatment towards marginalized identities (especially regarding the targeted violence towards trans women of colour) but it is certainly exciting to see the country progress with every passing year.
So, grab your rainbow attire, get out there and enjoy the wonders that the LGBT+ world can offer! Support LGBT+ run businesses, pay to see LGBT+ created art, watch some LGBT+ movies and T.V., and donate to shelters who are supporting homeless LGBT+ youth.
Ottawa Capital Pride events and many other pride festivals aren’t scheduled until later in the summer but that doesn’t mean that we have to wait to enjoy Pride until then! You can look out for a Pride in Canada schedule to be posted soon. And if you didn’t recognize some terms in this blogpost, you can look forward to more LGBT+ centric blogposts in the upcoming weeks where I will be giving you a crash course in LGBT terminology, events and more!
What is Pride month like where you’re from?
Lauren Ibbott is a second year University of Ottawa student, blogger and freelance writer. She frequently writes for DownshiftingPRO. Please follow her on Instagram @Lauren_Patii All opinions are her own. You can read more of her post below: