Celebrate your colours

By Humber River Hospital

Pride month celebrations are not new to Canada, the first ever Pride Week in Toronto took place in 1973. The event celebrated the shift from homophobia toward gay liberation and included an arts festival, dance and film screening. However, homophobic conflicts continued to occur throughout Canada over the next two decades. Gay establishments were raided; arrests occurred and protest for gay and lesbian rights persisted.

As time passed and advocacy for gay and lesbian rights gained more momentum, leading Toronto and Canada to reach some important milestones. In 1999 same-sex couples were afforded equal common law rights, and in 2005 same-sex marriage was made legal in Canada. In 2014, Toronto hosted the first ever World Pride and in 2016, Toronto’s police chief formally apologized for the famous Toronto “Operation Soap” raid that occurred in 1981.

Although we have come a long way, Pride remains a controversial subject for many people due to the political nature of the history of Pride events and 2SLGBTQIA+ advocacy work. Over the years gender identity and expression has been better understood and accepted. As a result of this progress, the umbrella term for persons identifying with this community continues to expand, and so does the acronym. 2SLBGTQA+ stands for 2 Spirited, Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay, Transgender, Queer / Questioning, Intersex and Asexual. There are many more identities and orientations that are not captured in this acronym.

Humber River Hospital recognizes that to truly practice our core values of Compassion, Respect and Professionalism, we need to work towards recognizing the unique experiences of all our staff, patients and families. Humber is making our own Pride milestone by raising a Pride flag at all three Humber sites on June 3, 2019, to officially recognize June as Pride month. Humber River Hospital will also host a Pride event on June 13, 2019, that encourages everyone to feel welcome and so we can work together to foster a culture of engagement and inclusivity.

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