June 23, 2016
Celebrate LGBT Pride - Because It’s 2016
Every year between June and September, the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) Community and their allies celebrate Pride.
On behalf of the CUPW National Human Rights Committee we would like to encourage all CUPW Locals in the Pacific Region to show solidarity with LGBT members in your community by supporting Pride events (please see the reverse side of this bulletin for a list of events in the Pacific Region).
Pride is a chance for the LGBT community and their allies to celebrate diversity and acceptance. However, Pride is more than just a party. It is also a political struggle for safety and full equality for all people. Plus it is a time to commemorate those who have been prosecuted, jailed, assaulted or killed while fighting for their rights.
This year’s Pride season has been marred by the horrific attack on the LGBT community on June 12, 2016 when at least 49 people were murdered and another 53 people were injured at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. Since that time investigations have revealed that their killer was a homophobic fellow American who was born in New York. This is the largest mass shooting in modern US history. In his reaction to this hate crime President Obama described the significance of LGBT safe gathering places when he said, “The place where they were attacked was more than a nightclub. It was a place of solidarity and empowerment where people have come together to raise awareness, to speak their minds, and to advocate for their civil rights.” That is also what Pride events are all about.
We can honour the 49 people who lost their lives with our love, respect and solidarity in the on-going fight for human rights for all people in the World. Discrimination based on sex sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, marital status, family status and disability have no place in our society. Our struggles are inseparable.
Over the last 45 years Canada has made major strides to strengthen the legal rights of LGBT persons. Despite these advances, discrimination and hate crimes against people who are perceived to be, LGBT still occur on a daily basis in Canada and around the world. Same sex relationships are still illegal in 73 countries. In 13 of those countries homosexuality is punishable by death. No one can feel safe unless we all have equality and justice. Progressive Human Rights laws are just words on paper. Real equality can only be achieved when people change their attitudes and beliefs.
You can be part of that change by standing in solidarity with your LGBT family, friends, coworkers and neighbours by participating in Pride events in your community.
An injury to one is an injury to all.
In Pride & Solidarity,
Below is a list of upcoming Pride Parades and Festivals in the Pacific Region that we are aware of. If your community has a Pride event that is not on this list please let us know:
- June 11, 2016 - 2nd annual Quesnel Pride Parade
- June 12, 2016 - The Nanaimo Pride Parade
- June 25, 2016 – Yukon Pride 1:00 PM: Pride Parade - from the top of Main Street, 2:00 PM: PSAC Pride Picnic at Rotary Park http://www.queeryukon.com/
- June 25, 2016 – Campbell River Pride Festival noon to 5:00 PM in Spirit Square
- July 10, 2016 - Victoria Pride Parade starts at Noon at Government and Pandora, and the Festival opens immediately after at MacDonald Park in James Bay. http://www.victoriapridesociety.org
- July 31, 2016 – The 38th annual Vancouver Pride Parade starts at Noon at Robson and Thurlow and the Pride Festival at Sunset Beach runs from 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM. http://www.vancouverpride.ca
- August 6 - 13, 2016 - New West Pride Week and the New West Pride Columbia Street Party Will Be Saturday, August 13, 2015. http://newwestpride.com/
- August 6 to 13, 2016 - Okanagan Pride Festival: http://okanaganpride.com/
- Kootenay Pride Weekend Nelson, BC To be announced.
- Salt Spring Island Pride is celebrated on the weekend after Labour Day in September (September 12 & 13). http://www.glossi.org
For more information on specific events please visit the websites listed above.
The Pacific Region has a CUPW Pride Banner that we can loan to Locals on a first come first served basis. We have also ordered a small supply of CUPW Pride Lion fridge magnets. Pride Festivals may also provide an opportunity to promote our “Postal Banking” and Delivering Community Power” campaigns although that should not be the sole focus of our participation. Puffy the Pig may be available to make a guest appearance at your local events. Please let us know as soon as possible if your Local would like any of these materials.