Welcome to Pride Month, which kicks off today and runs throughout June as a time to celebrate achievements and experiences of 2SLGBTQ+ communities in Canada and around the world. It also offers an opportunity to understand historical and systemic barriers; to express solidarity for—and to advocate for—2SLGBTQ+ rights; and to catalyse our commitment to building an equitable future that empowers everyone to be their full selves.
Jumpstarted in 1969 by the Stonewall Uprising, where protesters led a series of demonstrations after a police raid on a gay bar in New York, Pride has since struggled for—and won—rights to work and live and love, in movements often led by Indigenous and Two-Spirit, queer and trans-Black, and racialized queer and trans people. But these rights are also imperilled by law, violence, discrimination, and racism. This month—of celebration and commemoration, of reflection and resistance—remains as important as ever.
I invite you to join U of T’s Pride 2022 events, which feature our #DisplayYourPride celebration on 15 June. They begin today with the flying of the Progress Pride Flag on all three campuses. The flag’s arrow highlights trans identities, and represents symbolically a commitment to amplifying the unique experiences of Indigenous, Black, and racialized members of queer and trans communities. That commitment also lives materially, in resources for students, staff, faculty and librarians at U of T’s Sexual and Gender Diversity Office; in networks for conversation, friendship and support, including OUT@UTM; and in our dedication to do better in the future.
I look forward to realizing this commitment during Pride and beyond as we champion diversity in sexuality and gender identity; recognize histories of resistance and resilience and love; and take up the work ahead.