We hope people recycle our newspaper when they’re done reading. This week, however, we encourage people to consider displaying the Pride Month wrap around today’s issue or at least pause to think about what it symbolizes.
In past years we’ve wrapped a Pride flag around a Nanaimo News Bulletin issue during June, but this spring, the Nanaimo Pride Society suggested that we print the ‘progress’ Pride flag instead.
The society, according to its newsletter, has adopted the progress Pride flag as a primary visibility symbol. The flag retains the familiar rainbow, but in addition to representing the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, two-spirit plus community, the progress flag adds a chevron design representing marginalized people of colour, trans individuals, and those living with HIV/AIDS or those who have died. The chevron is also meant to represent an arrow, and while it depicts forward movement, “progress still needs to be made.”
We hope that some of that progress can happen this month in Nanaimo. For a second year in a row, the COVID-19 pandemic means that many of the community events and celebrations that would typically mark Pride Month aren’t happening.
There will be a lot of virtual events including a video Pride parade, and we encourage people to visit www.nanaimopride.ca for information. It might not be quite the same, though. Up until COVID, the annual Pride parade and party in the park had grown to the point that Nanaimo was host to one of the biggest Pride bashes on Canada’s West Coast. We feel like the good times, good vibes and good intentions of those gatherings have made a real difference in creating awareness and acceptance of Nanaimo’s LGBTQ community, not to mention respect and love and allyship.
It’s wonderful to be proud of who we are. It’s fundamental to be accepted for who we are. In Nanaimo, we can get closer to being a community where people can be accepted, and be proud, and be their true selves.
Let’s make progress this month.