Walk with us in the Toronto Pride Parade, Sunday, July 1 at 2 p.m.
Pride, celebrated across the country, is one of Canada’s biggest and most colourful annual festivals. It features exciting street fairs, marches, parades, picnics and concerts. Each event provides an inclusive experience, which is why Pride is a popular attraction among Canadians and thousands of visitors from around the world.
While Pride events are filled with enjoyment and enthusiasm, the festival also highlights human rights issues that affect the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual and Queer (LGBTQ) community. These include homophobia, bullying, and transphobia. Messages of hope, optimism, and change are expressed through placards, costumes, props, and banners during the various marches and parades. Community agencies, labour organizations, and human rights activists visibly support and work alongside our LGBTQ sisters and brothers during the festival. Thus, the collective energy put forward by the LGBTQ community and their supporters is quite evident throughout the week-long festivity.
Pride is a perfect opportunity for UFCW Canada members and officers to show our support and solidarity to our LGBTQ sisters and brothers. At least ten percent of our membership is part of the LGBTQ community and we need to provide them with a safe space to join this event. Pride is also an ideal avenue to show our appreciation to our LGBTQ sisters and brothers for their valuable contributions to our organization. When we participate in Pride, we ensure that the voices of our LGBTQ sisters and brothers are heard in their Union and that UFCW Canada's voice is heard in their community.
Last year, TUAC Canada had a booth at Pride Montreal Community Day and at least twenty UFCW members, staff, and their families marched with members of the Quebec Federation of Labour at the Montreal Pride Parade. This year, UFCW Canada will be at Pride Toronto for the first time. Several of our Local Unions are also involved with Pride activities in Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Saskatchewan, Hamilton, Quebec City, and Montreal. Ultimately, our goal is to increase our presence at Pride and be committed each year to participate in events across Canada.
Eliminating homophobia, bullying, and transphobia is an enormous challenge but change begins with us. In solidarity with our LGBTQ sisters and brothers, let us continue to engage and work collaboratively with our national partner, Egale Canada, in initiatives that advance equality, diversity, and social and economic justice. Let us make the most of Pride and its events, which allow us to celebrate diversity and equality. Let us have Pride, and we will change the world.