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On Pride & showing up

It’s pride week in Victoria, which will culminate in the Victoria Pride Parade and Festival on Sunday, July 10th. And with each year that passes, rain or shine, more and more people of all orientations, expressions, and identities, show up.

This is partly because as awareness is raised and stories are shared about the experiences of queer and trans people (we’re everywhere!), more and more people feel impacted and implicated in the efforts to create communities that are safer and celebratory of diverse realities.

That said, when onlookers take on a “queers (and particularly, queers of colour) should be seen and not heard” mentality, as happened at Toronto Pride when Black Lives Matter Toronto halted the parade, it makes me really question the motives of those who attend.

For those of you who are cisgender and/or straight and/or white, it’s extra important to take a minute and ask yourself why you’re showing up to Pride events. A couple of articles I’d suggest to help with with reflection are:

  1. Dear straight allies, please don’t come to pride until you’ve understood these 6 things
  2. So You Call Yourself an Ally: 10 Things All ‘Allies’ Need to Know

I’m not saying don’t show up for Pride.  I’m saying show up every other day, too. That could mean having a queer/trans/2spirit positive presence online. It could mean being emotionally available for your queer/trans/2spirit friends when violence happens to people in our community. That could mean using your position(s) of privilege to amplify the needs and desires of those within the queer/trans/2spirit community who have been marginalized most.

Let’s let Pride be an opportunity to reflect on our history, build new relationships, and hold each other up each other in all the best ways.

Happy Pride!

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