Canada’s unions stand in solidarity with the 2SLGBTQI community

June 1, 2020

Pride season is a time for communities to come together to celebrate, show solidarity and press for change. In the midst of this COVID-19 crisis, we have to acknowledge that this year’s Pride will look different, but the need for supportive, affirmative communities is greater than ever.

As celebrations across the country are cancelled, rescheduled or shifted to digital platforms in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Canada’s unions stand with our 2SLGBTQI members, friends and family to celebrate and fight for those facing homophobic, transphobic and biphobic violence and harassment.

“For decades, Canada’s unions have joined Pride festivities across Canada in solidarity with 2SLGBTQI communities across the country,” said Larry Rousseau, Executive Vice-President of the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC). “This Pride season will be no different – unions will be there to show our support, no matter how we celebrate. It reminds us that we are a community, even when physical distancing requirements keep us apart.”

With the theme Exist-Persist-Resist, Global Pride 2020 is a political celebration of visibility and civil rights for Two-Spirit, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex communities. Even as lockdowns remain in place across the country and around the world, Pride festivities can offer much needed spaces for community gatherings, healing, and political engagement.

“The Pride movement arose out of the Stonewall riots, as well as protests against police raids of gay establishments, most notably the Bathhouse Raids in Toronto,” said Rousseau. “This year’s Pride takes place in the context of significant pushback against anti-Black racism and police violence in the US and Canada. Pride has always been political, and this year especially we remember the role that Black and Latinx trans women played in Stonewall. Pride events and calls for change must highlight the interconnectedness of movements struggling against oppression.

“We know that Pride season is an important time to connect, to celebrate and to organize for so many,” said Rousseau. “Yes, this Pride will be different, but it will still be ours. It can still bring us together. And it can still be political. Together we can emerge stronger, more united, and more Proud than ever.”

The CLC encourages labour councils and local unions to get involved in regional Pride events, to show solidarity with the 2SLGBTQI community and the Pride movement in this pandemic.

Show your pride and solidarity by downloading the CLC’s new pride zoom backgrounds.

Stay up to date with COVID-19 Pride festival updates across Canada with Fierté Canada Pride’s tracking tool.

Learn more about Global Pride 2020 here.

Learn more about the demands of nearly 100 2SLGBTQI organizations in Canada in the context of the COVID-19 crisis here.

Read about the specific impacts of COVID-19 on 2SLGBTQI communities in Canada here.

Commit to being a better trans ally in the workplace this Pride season with the CLC’s newest handbook Workers in Transition: A Practical Guide for Union Representatives and Trans Union Members.

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