Happy Pride Month, everyone!
Although considered by many as a celebration, it is important to remember that the origins of Pride began with an uprising against oppression and discrimination.
Notable Dates in Canada
What is considered Pride Month in Canada and the US, had it’s beginning in June of 1969 with the Stonewall Riots down in New York City.
Canada has its own rich history in the struggle to attain LGBTQ+ rights. Here are some notable events in Canada’s Pride history:
- May 14, 1969, Decriminalization of homosexuality
- August 28, 1971, first gay rights protest—citizens from Ottawa, Montreal, and Toronto gathered at Parliament Hill. A small group in Vancouver protested at Robson Square
- August 1, 1973, Pride Week emerges with a shift to gay liberation—celebrated in many cities including Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Saskatoon, and Winnipeg. This event was the shift from a homophile movement to the concept of gay pride
- August 1, 1981, Vancouver’s first official Pride Parade
- May 17, 1990, WHO remove homosexuality from the disorder list
- July 27, 1990, the term Two Spirit (niizh manidoowag) is coined
- July 20, 2005, Bill C-38 became federal law, which gives same-sex couples the legal right to marry
- February 8, 2010, British Columbia hosted the 2010 Winter Olympics, and for the first time, the games included the Pride House for LGBTQ+ athletes
LGBTQAI2S+ Youth and Homelessness
Understanding why certain communities of youth are overrepresented in the homeless population, is an imperative first step in finding ways to best serve and support them.
Studies have shown that:
- 11% of homeless people in BC are youth (under 25 years of age)
- 25–40% of homeless youth are LGBTQAI2S+
- Family rejection is the most common cause of LGBTQAI2S+ youth homelessness
- LGBTQAI2S+ youth are much more likely to struggle with mental health concerns, including suicide
- 53% of homeless youth in BC identify as Indigenous. Of those youth, 34% identified as LGBTQAI2S+
Show Us Your Pride
Covenant House Vancouver strives to be inclusive and supportive to both staff and youth that we serve. Covenant House Vancouver’s Rainbow Advisory Committee is made up of staff members from each department in the agency. They are dedicated to ensuring that we use best practices to serve our LGBTQAI2S+ youth and that we continue to enhance our spaces, policies, procedures, and programs.
Here are a few ways to show your Pride this month:
- Learn more about the history and importance of Pride. There is a myriad of resources online, at the library, and through organizations in your community. Pflag Canada (a national charity to help family members understand and accept their LGBTQAI2S+ children) is just one example
- Converse—share your knowledge or experiences. Be an ear for someone who is reaching out
- Become an ally
- Participate in and/or celebrate Pride events. Several cities across the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley celebrate Pride at different times throughout the summer
If you would like to show your Pride by supporting the youth that we serve, our Match Campaign is on now! Every dollar donated will be matched, thanks to the estate of Mr. Roman Babicki.
How do you celebrate Pride? Let us know on our social channels. Links are below.