Forty years ago, Vancouver Pride started with a handful of people struggling against homophobia and transphobia coming together in solidarity. In the beginning, it was a small group of activists that wanted to be proud of who they were and who they love, and has now grown into a vibrant celebration enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of people.
Today, there are Pride parades in communities large and small across British Columbia that embody what Pride is about- visibility and community for two-spirited, trans and queer folks.
This year, the BCGEU is proud once again to march in solidarity with the LGBTQI2S+ community alongside our members at the 40th Vancouver Pride parade. As a union committed to social justice, we have always supported equity and diversity in our union, in our workplaces and in our communities.
But Pride is more than a parade and more than a celebration. Pride is a movement. And the Pride movement and the labour movement are united by common values and common goals.
The Pride movement was started by activists demanding visibility, equality, rights, and respect. The Pride movement has made colleagues, friends and loved ones into allies, advocates, and activists. And the Pride movement has survived and thrived in communities on every continent, in every country, across the world- because the values it espouses are universal.
We have come a long way, but there is still much more work to do to advance rights for all. That's why our union has a dedicated equity and human rights committee that meets regularly to raise awareness, deepen our knowledge and strategize to end discrimination in all its forms.
The Pride parade is a moment to remember where the movement came from, to appreciate and celebrate everything the movement has achieved, and to recognize how much further we have to go.