Pride Month is a recognition of the hard-fought gains won by the 2SLGBTQIA+ community from the 1960s until the present day. The significance of June as the chosen month for Pride stems from the 1969 Stonewall Riots that took place that month in New York.
More than 50 years later, discrimination and hatred against 2SLGBTQIA+ people is still a daily occurrence throughout the world. In recent months, the US has seen a major increase in homophobic and transphobic legislation. In Canada, hate crimes against 2SLGBTQIA+ people have increased significantly in recent years: 2019 saw a 41% increase from the previous year, and that number remained high in 2020 (the latest year for which data has been published). Discrimination and hatred is compounded even further for Black, racialized, immigrant and Indigenous members of 2SLGBTQIA+ communities as well as those with disabilities, who face intersecting barriers in society and then may face discrimination and lack of access to Pride celebrations and other 2SLGBTQIA+ spaces.
In these uncertain times, it remains ever important to celebrate the gains we have made and to come together as communities alongside our allies. We must resist the growing acts of hatred and stand proud. For the first time since the pandemic began, we will have in-person Pride events to attend, in addition to virtual events for those that remain vulnerable to COVID-19.
CEIU stands in solidarity with the 2SLGBTQIA+ community and its allies and we encourage all of our members to attend Pride celebrations in their communities this year.