It has been a beautiful and powerful tradition at Nanaimo’s Pride Parade, the way that community members who watched and supported the parade, join the tail end of it and walk to the park too, in allyship.
It symbolizes, we think, the idea that Pride Month is for anyone and everyone in Nanaimo.
Of course, Pride, most of all, is for members of the LGBTQ community to celebrate their pride in who they are, honour the efforts that have been made in the LGBTQ rights movement, and recognize there is more to be done in the ongoing pursuit of equal justice and equal opportunity for LGBTQ people.
But beyond that, Pride Month is also a time for anyone in Nanaimo to celebrate, accept, and show love to people who are two-spirit, gay, lesbian, transexual, queer and/or questioning, intersex, asexual, plus. Having good intentions and an open mind and attending a parade are a few ways we can start, but it shouldn’t end there. We can make an effort to understand the diversity that the 2SLGBTQIA+ letters represent, we can respect pronouns, and we can support LGBTQ charitable causes and LGBTQ-owned businesses.
Maybe some effort in creating more welcoming spaces in real life will help to balance out the toxicity LGBTQ people encounter in online spaces. Too many social media avatars are too comfortable discriminating against people who are gay, lesbian, and especially trans. It’s awfully easy to log on and find loudmouths trying to normalize persecution of people based on sexual orientation and/or gender identity. It’s hard to combat or even quell.
For those reasons and others, the world needs more Pride Month, badly. We’ve seen that it can bring a rainbow-bright positive vibe to Nanaimo, and we hope that it happens again, and that the LGBTQ community feels celebrated, respected, loved and uplifted.Follow @nanaimobulletin