ONA Celebrates Pride!

June 1, 2021

Celebrating 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 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, acknowledgment 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 marks the 40th anniversary of Pride in Toronto. The Operation Soap bathhouse raids, which took place in 1981 – 40 years ago – generated a string of protests against queer oppression. Later in the year, “Lesbian and Gay Pride Day Toronto”, now Pride Toronto, was legally incorporated and an estimated 1,500 people celebrated Pride Day on Sunday, June 28th, 1981 at Grange Park. Near the end of a politically charged year, the day was billed as a time to relax and celebrate. The City of Toronto will again proclaim June Pride Month with the annual Flag Raising Ceremony at City Hall, launching a full month of digital programming by Pride Toronto, showcasing the heroes of Toronto’s 2SLGBTQ+ communities and prioritizing community-driven events.

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 again this year. However, although in-person Pride events across Ontario will not go forward, that doesn't mean Pride will not be marked. We will post information about online events as it is available.

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 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.

Show your ONA Pride with a special selection celebrating our diversity in the ONA Boutique!


ONA's Pride poster



Please click here to download the English poster.

Please click here to download the French poster.


Please click here to download the shareables.

Zoom background

Download the Zoom background.