MAKING A DIFFERENCE ON OUR ISLANDS…
The inaugural Pender Island Pride was first conceived by an island mom as a way to show her daughter and other local LGBTQ2S+ and questioning youth that they live in a welcoming and supportive community in which they can feel safe to live their truth authentically and safely.
The overwhelmingly enthusiastic response from across the islands’ community made it a great success. It forged new connections, friendships, and opportunities for collaboration with other community groups and initiatives, and has paved the way for the future.
MORE THAN JUST A PARTY
Pride celebrations may seem like a lot of fun and frivolity, but they are so much more. Pride marches began as protests, demanding an end to systemic discrimination, violence, and hatred towards LGBTQ2S+ people.
After decades of struggle, we celebrate progress towards equality and human rights protections. Pride events are an important part of remaining vigilant that hard-won rights are not stolen away again.
Despite the advances in our society, there is still far to go before all people are free to live authentic lives, safe from stigma, bigotry, out-dated social values, and harmful ideologies. Pride events are crucial to projecting a message of support and inclusivity in our community and continuing to bring awareness of those injustices that still remain.
Without positive role models and public expressions of Pride, LGBTQ2S+ people, especially youth, can feel oppressed, fearful, or isolated. This can result in people making unhealthy choices as coping mechanisms, and not living up to their true potential. Small and remote communities without direct access to the services and resources available in urban centres can be especially susceptible to these circumstances.