This month we take part in colourful celebrations across Canada to honour the diversity of gender and sexual expression in our communities. As part of Toronto's 37th annual Pride Parade and the second full month of arts and cultural programming, we recognize our accomplishments in making our society more equitable for all and we recommit ourselves to the work we still have ahead of us.
Toronto Pride is rooted in a long history of dedicated activism. Community members fought for the right to be themselves regardless of sexuality or gender expression, protesting in the streets against injustice, including in response to bathhouse raids in 1981 and 2000. Over the years many significant human rights goals have been reached. The achievement of legal protections for LGBTQI2S+ people in provincial human rights codes is something that all Canadians can be proud of. While there is much to celebrate, the work of creating safer and more inclusive spaces for LGBTQI2S+ people is not over. Realizing our vision for a better future will involve respecting and honouring diverse identities and experiences, including those impacted by sexism, racism, ableism and other forms of discrimination.
This Pride, we return to the streets to celebrate and to renew our collective dedication to this work. We welcome people from inside and outside Toronto to march, dance, and be inspired by a rainbow of entertainment from across the arts world. I look forward to coming together with our communities this June, and as leader of your Federal NDP would continue to strive toward a better Canada for LGBTQI2S+ individuals with love and courage. I can’t wait to march with you at the pride parade on June 25.
Congratulations on another year of pride celebrations, Toronto!