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Pride 2022 Waterloo Region - National Pride Month

June is National Pride Month all across Canada.

Pride 2022 in Waterloo Region is especially exciting this year. After many months of practising social distancing, remaining indoors and being isolated away from our communities - 2SLGBTQQIA+ persons can finally gather to express the love that they have for one another.

Whilst celebrating pride this year, or simply residing within your communities, the Anti-Racism Advisory Working Group asks residents to reflect on the long standing relationship between anti-racism efforts and anti-trans/homophobic efforts.

To quote Edmund White in The Stonewall Reader - an anthology chronicling the fight for ‘LGBTQ’ rights in the 1960s, along with the activists who spearheaded the movement:

“Angry lesbians, angrier drag queens, excessive mourning, staggering heat, racial tensions, the example of civil disobedience set by the women’s movement, the antiwar protesters, the Black Panthers — all the elements were present and only a single flame was needed to ignore the bonfire.”

People of colour have long stood on the frontlines for the liberation of their right to love who they choose, whilst risking their lives doing so. These people were not only targeted for who and how they chose to express their love, but for the colour of their skin, or for the religions they worshipped.

As stated by author Emma Specter, in an article titled “Pride Cannot—And Must Not—Exist Without Anti-Racist Work”:

“If we wish to consider ourselves worthy of the legacy of (Marsha P.) Johnson, (Sylvia) Rivera, Maxine Perkins, Audre Lorde, and countless other people of color who fought for queer liberation, we must do the work: whether that’s donating to anti-racism causes, lobbying our elected officials to reallocate police funding to social services, showing up at protests to put our bodies between black and brown protestors and the police, or any number of other actions.”

This month, the group asks exactly that of Waterloo region residents. Please consider creating space to honour and remember the ancestors who paved the way in helping our Nation be a more inclusive and accepting place for 2SLGBTQQIA+ persons to exist within.

Prepared by the Region of Waterloo Anti-Racism Advisory Working Group.

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