ONA Celebrates Pride!
June 9, 2020
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 that catered to an assortment of patrons, but 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 LGBTQI2S 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 (LGBTQI2S) culture. The events also, at times, serve as demonstrations for legal rights such as same-sex marriage. LGBTQI2S 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 LGBTQI2S 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.
This year, many Pride groups and organizations across Canada and the U.S. have postponed their typical celebrations in favour of joining the Black community as allies in the fight against systemic racism. Capital Pride reminds us that "the queer liberation movement, as with many other human rights movements, was spurred by the activism of Black and Trans women of colour." Marsha P. Johnson, a Black transgender woman, was one of the leaders of the movement at the Stonewall Inn, standing up to racism and bigotry. Johnson and friend Sylvia Rivera were at the heart of the early gay rights movement, creating the first LGBT youth shelter in North America and the first organization in the United States led by trans women of color.
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 LGBTQI2S members who experience discrimination or harassment and enforce their rights.
We encourage our members, family, and friends to join us and other allies in celebrating Pride. Showing your commitment to an inclusive community for all by participating in Pride means a great deal to our LGBTQI2S members and staff.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our members and the public must refrain from attending live events, such as parades and rallies. Many local Pride events across Ontario have been cancelled but while in-person events will not go forward, Pride will be marked. We will post information about online events as it is available.
- Thunder Bay (June 5-14): Visit the Thunder Pride website for the latest news and event updates. You can also visit their Facebook page.
- Toronto (Events throughout June): Check out the Toronto Pride Virtual Pride website for news and events.
- London (July 16-26): Visit the London Pride website for news and event details.
- Ottawa (August 21-30): The Capital Pride website has the latest news and updates for Pride events in Ottawa.
- Durham: Pride Durham's Virtual Pride Parade is scheduled for June 7, 2020 and can be viewed on Facebook Live.
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.
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.
The pandemic has put unique pressures on vulnerable individuals, including those in LGBTQI2S community who may be struggling with isolation or staying at home. Pride Toronto has curated a page of COVID-19 resources including various crisis lines available for those who need support.
The 519 has also created a page of COVID-19 resources and information for the LGBTQI2S community.
The Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership (OTMPC) has posted an extensive list of Pride and LGBTQI2S events (and their 2020 virtual counterparts) taking place across Ontario throughout the year.
Rainbow Health Ontario is working to improve access to LGBTQI2S-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 LGBTQI2S human rights through research, education and community engagement.
The LGBT Youth Line provides confidential and non-judgemental peer support and resources for LGBTQI2S youth (29 and under) across Ontario.
Click here to view The Canadian Encyclopedia's timeline of significant events related to Canada's LGBTQI2S community.