ONA Celebrates Pride 2018

June 21, 2018

Since its inception, ONA has been a leader on human rights issues that affect not only our members, but all members of our society. In 2015, ONA launched a human rights and equity initiative to champion human rights causes even further and to highlight major human rights and equity observances including Pride.

Early on the morning of June 28, 1969, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning persons rioted following a police raid on the Stonewall Inn in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of New York City.  The Stonewall Inn was a gay bar which catered to an assortment of patrons, but which was popular with the most marginalized people in the gay community. The Stonewall riots are generally considered to be the beginning of the modern gay rights movement, as it was the first time in modern history that a significant body of LGBTQ+ people resisted arrest. Most Pride events take place around June to commemorate the Stonewall riots.

Pride events celebrate Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual, Transgender, Intersex, Queer, Questioning, and Two-Spirit (LGBTQ+) culture. The events also, at times, serve as demonstrations for legal rights such as same-sex marriage. LGBTQ+ workers may feel invisible and unable to fully express themselves in their workplaces and their communities. Pride celebrations promote self-affirmation and expression, acceptance, acknowledgement and respect in the community.

Pride activities also give members of the LGBTQ+ communities the opportunity to celebrate their diverse histories, experiences, backgrounds and the progress they have made. Pride expresses the efforts of diverse member communities to build a larger community that is inclusive of all.

The Ontario Nurses’ Association is proud to recognize and support the diversity of our members and staff, and to join in the fight against discrimination based on an individual’s sexual orientation and/or gender identity. ONA believes in everyone’s right to dignity and equal treatment on the job.

We are committed to making our members’ workplaces safe and respectful. We must educate ourselves to recognize and challenge homophobic comments and behaviour. We must support and show solidarity with our LGBTQ+ members who experience discrimination or harassment and enforce their rights.


We encourage ONA members, family, and friends to join us and other allies in celebrating Pride 2018. Now is the time to start preparing to attend a Pride event or parade in your area.

Because parades and events allow us to demonstrate our unwavering commitment to human rights before large public audiences, ONA will coordinate and fund registration fees for Locals/Bargaining Units that plan to participate, and where there are more than 40 member participants, an appropriate float/vehicle. Also remember that locals can apply for political action monies under policy 26.11 to Vicki McKenna before the event. Contact your bargaining unit president or local coordinator for more information.

See below for details about Pride 2018 events: Check back soon as the event listing will be updated as information becomes available.

Thunder Bay: The Thunder Bay Pride Parade takes place on Saturday, June 16.

Toronto: An ONA contingent is already registered for the enormous Toronto Pride Parade (38th annual) on Sunday, June 24. ONA marchers meet at 1.30p.m. and the parade starts at 2 p.m. Please contact us by email at ONAPride@ona.org to get involved in organizing ONA's float or to find out more about Toronto Pride, etc. For further details, click here for the Toronto Pride Poster.

Ottawa: The Ottawa Pride Parade takes place on Sunday, August 26. If you are interested in joining the ONA group, please contact onalocal83@onalocal83.org or call 613-731-1314. Click here to view the Ottawa Pride Poster for further details.

London: The London Pride Parade takes place on Sunday, July 29. Meet at the London Western Fair grounds at 11:45 a.m. The parade begins promptly at 12:30 p.m. Please contact the ONA Local 100 office at 519-667-0937 for details or click here for the London Pride Poster.

If you or your Local will be participating in Pride activities in your community let us know by emailing webmaster@ona.org and we will post the details here for other ONA members. We also invite you to submit any photos from your event - be sure to include the names and Local number with your submission.

Showing your commitment to an inclusive community for all people by participating in Pride means a great deal to our LGBTQ+ members and staff. We hope to see you there!


ONA has prepared English and French versions of our Pride poster. Below you will find two versions of the poster: a generic poster (PDF) and one with a blank space at the bottom (Word) which Locals can customize with their own message and/or event details. Click on the document name below and download the PDF or Word document of your choosing.


We have also created this shareable image that you can download and post to your social media accounts. Show your support and spread the word about this important day!


ONA Resources:

ONA is committed to fighting all forms of discrimination, including homophobia and transphobia. Every member has the right to equal opportunity and full participation in their workplace and in their union. Our Human Rights and Equity Team has prepared answers to a set of frequently asked questions around challenging homophobia and heterosexism in the workplace.

Click here and watch ONA members and staff share their experiences with homophobia/transphobia and learn why Pride is important to them.

Visit ONA's Human Rights & Equity webpage to learn about the work being done by our Human Rights & Equity Team, contact team members, and to access valuable resources

More Resources:

The Canadian Labour Congress website has a section dedicated to the news and issues that affect LGBTQ workers.

The Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership (OTMPC) has posted an extensive list of Pride and LGBTQ events taking place across Ontario throughout the year.

Click here to view Historica Canada's "Pride in Canada" exhibit online.

Rainbow Health Ontario is working to improve access to LGBTQ friendly physical and mental health services in Ontario by providing education and training to providers, advocating for public policy change, sharing information and consulting with service providers and organizations.

Egale Canada Human Rights Trust is a national charity promoting LGBT human rights through research, education and community engagement.