What does Pride mean to you?
June is Pride Month and we wanted to celebrate what that means to some of our kids, alumni, and staff.
And while we recognize much has progressed since Pride’s inception, we don’t deny that even more needs to be done.
“There needs to be a course that is free for queer kids with disabilities, all across Canada, that discusses queer relationships, friendships, sex-ed in the queer community, inter-abled relationships, and same sex relationships. I myself never had much of a sex education in school especially in regards to being both queer and disabled. Everything I learned I taught myself or had to Google and it shouldn't have been like that. I don't want anyone to have to go through what I went through. There's a huge stigma there and something has to give because, we deserve to be a part of these conversations, too!” - JADINE
“As any queer person with a disability, I think what I wanted more of growing up was a space that helps kids with disabilities find out who they are and to find ways to support them in school and beyond, whether that means support groups or educational tools within our curriculum. I also think one stigma that needs to change is the judgement, as well as understanding queer means a lot of things. I am disabled and queer and I am proud! And this year’s Pride is as important as ever. As Pride started as a protest, we have to protect our community members and beyond from the hatred and violence Black and POC communities are experiencing right now in the world. We must use our platforms to speak up and understand the intersectionality of all communities, including disabled communities, to work together to help our brothers and sisters out in this time of civil unrest.” - GEORGE
“I think it's super important that pride this year sort of take a different tone. The reality is Pride started as a riot and it's hard not to draw comparisons to what's going on right now in regards to Black Lives Matter. Marsha P. Johnson, a transgender woman of colour was the one who threw the first brick at the Stonewall riots. Queer culture has always borrowed from and benefitted from black culture and there is so much intersectionality between the two communities.
It's impossible to celebrate Pride in a way that we would normally, knowing what is going on right now. Our social responsibility as allies is to listen right now, and to use our position of privilege to amplify the voices of those who are needing to be heard right now.
Representation is so important. If you never see people like you, you think you're the only one. You think you're alone, a weirdo, or a freak. And I think it's so important that people see themselves represented. Whether that's LGBTQ representation, representation of disability, or authentic representation of people of colour and those who are marginalized, this representation is so crucial as a starting point! It’s about building that conversation and bringing the right people to the table. We've seen great progress in terms of representation in the media and in terms of having queer people tell queer stories, but I think that's just the first step. There is a lot more work to be done!” - DANIEL