June is Pride Month – learn about the history of Pride, the Pride flag, and flag raisings at Georgian campuses

June 6, 2022

June marks the beginning of Pride season and a chance for everyone to celebrate the rich history and contributions of the 2SLGBTQIA+ folks at Georgian and in our communities.

In the days and weeks ahead, please show your support and come out for our campus flag raisings and the many other events happening in the region.

History of Pride in Canada

Pride began as a protest, even here in Canada. Many people are familiar with the famous 1969 Stonewall Riots in New York which marked a significant turning point in the fight for 2SLGBTQIA+ rights in America.

Not as many people know that Canada has its own Stonewall: On Feb. 5, 1981, police officers enacted what was known as “Operation Soap”. More than 150 officers raided four gay bathhouses in Toronto’s Village, arresting 286 2SLGBTQIA+ Canadians; it was the second largest mass arrest in Canadian history.

Massive protests took place in the weeks that followed and on March 6, 1981 Toronto held what it now considered to be its first Pride event (even famed Canadian author Margaret Atwood attended and spoke out against the persecution of 2SLGBTQIA+ people!).

Although significant progress has been made in the fight for 2SLGBTQIA+ rights, it’s important to know that many 2SLGBTQIA+ people – both in Canada and around the world – continue to face significant levels of discrimination, abuse, and even violence.

Pride advocates for the continued advancement of human rights and inclusion of all 2SLGBTQIA+ people and commemorates those people who have been lost to violence, prejudice, and stigma.

What does 2SLGBTQIA+ stand for?

Two-Spirit, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual. Formally known as LGBTQ, LGBTQ+, etc.

What do the colours of the new Pride flag mean?

Previously, the traditional Rainbow Pride flag was a simple red to purple rainbow design. The flag was revised in 2018 to be more inclusive of trans and racialized communities. This revised flag is known as the Progress Pride flag. In 2020, the Progress Pride Flag was again updated for greater inclusion of Intersex people.

The Progress Pride Flag (pictured) was designed in 2021 by Valentino Vecchietti, of Intersex Equality Rights UK.

A yellow triangle with a purple circle in it has been added, to represent intersex folks, community, and rights. Changes to the familiar rainbow flag convey the separation in meaning and shift focus to how important the issues represented on the left are. The flag includes a chevron featuring the Trans flag’s pink and blue, along with brown and black stripes that represent marginalized 2SLGBTQIA+ communities of colour.

The placement of the chevron in the direction of an arrow highlights that progress is still needed in terms of accessibility, greater awareness of on-going marginalization of racialized people and trans rights.

Lastly, the traditional six-color rainbow is intended to highlight ideas such as life, healing, sunlight etc.

Flag raisings at Georgian campuses

Pride flag raising at the Barrie Campus in 2017.

Barrie Campus flag raising

Midland Campus viewing party

Muskoka Campus viewing party

Orangeville Campus

  • Tuesday, June 14 at 11 a.m.

Orillia Campus

  • Tuesday, June 14 at 11 a.m.
  • remarks by the GCSA
  • safer spaces land acknowledgement
  • knowledge-sharing around the Pride flag
  • cookies and refreshments
  • 2SLGBTQIA+ viewing party — the GCSA will host two virtual viewing parties of RuPaul’s Drag Race show and host a debrief conversation following each briefing

Owen Sound

  • Tuesday, June 14

South Georgian Bay

  • Wednesday, June 15 at 10 a.m.

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