This month, we welcome the beginning of Pride season in Canada. This is a time to celebrate the resilience, spirit, and presence of LGBTQ2 people in communities across this country.
Throughout the summer, Canadians will mark Pride in new ways through virtual events from coast to coast to coast, to celebrate and share the values of perseverance and solidarity that have been intrinsic to LGBTQ2 movements since the first Canadian LGBTQ2 rights protests in 1971.
Solidarity across communities has always been essential to making progress on, and protecting, human rights. Advancement of LGBTQ2 rights is the work of a diverse queer and trans movement that began with the courage of Black and racialized trans women, who triggered the Stonewall Riots in 1969. Many others have followed, and continue to sustain anti-oppression movements, including individuals in small towns, Two-Spirit elders, gay and lesbian baby boomers, and youth, who infuse the movement with new visions for equality.
There is no doubt that COVID-19 has had a particular impact on LGBTQ2 communities, who in some cases face heightened challenges due to unwelcoming or unsafe home settings, precarious employment, and barriers to accessing mental and physical health services. This is why our government is committed to better serving LGBTQ2 Canadians and building a society where everyone has equal rights and opportunities to succeed.
As Minister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth, and on behalf of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, I encourage Canadians to take part in virtual celebrations this Pride season. Let’s honour and reflect upon the contributions and visibility of LGBTQ2 communities in all aspects of Canadian society, and recognize that diversity and inclusion strengthen our country, making it more vibrant and compassionate.