Different shades of Pride
For some, Pride is an event to celebrate with friends. Others may see it as a moment to stand in solidarity with those who are unable to stand for themselves, or as a time to give hope to those who are afraid to embrace their sexuality. Some people may even see Pride as a reward after years of fighting for their human rights.
For many years, the Canadian LGBTQ+ community has been trying to demonstrate that queer rights are basic human rights. It wasn’t until 1995 that the Supreme Court ruled that people should have equal protection and benefits of the law, regardless of sexual orientation. In 2005, Canada became the fourth country to legalize same-sex marriage. This article provides a detailed overview of LGBTQ+ rights in Canada.
Where are we now?
Nowadays, Pride is a time for LGBTQ+ people to celebrate with their friends and family. Canada has come a long way but the battle for LGBTQ+ acceptance and rights is still ongoing around the world.
Growing up in Ecuador, I’ve heard my family and peers use the word “gay” as a derogatory insult. I was raised in a homophobic culture that demeans anyone who is different.
When I moved to Canada, I was shocked to see a variety of events, places, and people supporting this community, and organizations such as Vancity that actively advocate for equality and tolerance. I didn’t know this public acceptance existed.
While a lot of progress has been made, there’s still a ways to go. I believe that we still live in a heteronormative society where the LGBTQ+ community needs to advocate, educate and build general awareness to avoid patriarchal gender roles, sexism, and intolerance that oppresses queer people from living their life freely, without the fear of being judged or persecuted.
It’s really about inclusivity: accepting everyone
With the commercialism of Pride over the years, it’s important to remember that this is a time for everyone to celebrate their sexuality and to love themselves just the way they are.
This year, Vancouver’s Pride theme is Better Together. These two words carry a strong message because isolation is the cause of depression and other barriers for LGBTQ+ people. It reminds people they’re not alone in this journey. Better Together, because together this community has the power to change the world.
Cheers to Vancouver Pride!