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  • Writer's pictureAnna Davidson

Pride Month 2024

June is known internationally as Pride Month, a time to acknowledge and celebrate the 2SLGBTQIA+ community. Today, let’s explore what that means.

What does 2SLGBTQIA+ stand for?

There are several acronyms commonly used to refer to the queer community. The government of Canada officially uses 2LGBTQI+, which stands for: two-spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and others who identify as part of the community. 2SLGBTQIA+ includes asexual/aromantic people explicitly and so we will use that term and the umbrella term “queer” within this blog post.

You can learn more about the common acronyms and different identities on the government of Canada’s resource page. 


The origins of Pride Month

Pride month occurs each June in commemoration of the Stonewall Uprising. On June 28, 1969, police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in Greenwich Village, NYC. While gay bars were commonly raided, this time the community was fed up with the constant mistreatment and inability to exist in peace. The crowd began to riot against the arrests and the uprising lasted for six days.

While Stonewall was not the beginning of queer activism, it was a galvanizing event for the community. The following year, the first Pride march occurred in several cities and has since continued, turning into a month-long event that occurs in countries around the world. As Pride becomes more mainstream, it’s important to remember that the Stonewall Uprising began with trans, people of colour. Two of the most prominent activists to come out of Stonewall included Marsha P. Johnson, a self-identified drag queen, and Sylvia Rivera, a transgender Latina woman. Both of them (and others like them) faced significant discrimination, even within the queer community. 

How to celebrate

Pride month can be a lot of fun! Your city and local 2SLGBTQIA+ organizations likely have a schedule of events to participate in, including parades, markets and more. We recommend you look for Pride events in your community.

There are also plenty of other ways to use this month to learn about and support the 2SLGBTQIA+ community. Some good options include:

  • Supporting queer businesses. Not only can you find local vendors at market events in your city, there are plenty of online retailers!

Ash + Chess sell a variety of fun art and clothing.

Western Sky Designs sells jewelry and other apparel.  

Glad Day Books, A Room of One’s Own, and more are queer-owned bookstores to frequent. Find others near you from this compilation list here

Find other queer-owned businesses using this map.

  • Check out queer films and shows. Entertaining and a great opportunity for educating yourself. 

CBC Gem has a Watch with Pride collection available. 

Don’t forget to check your local library!

  • Read up on queer history or check out fiction. 

Find ebooks and audiobooks available in Overdrive’s LGBTQ+ stories collection.

  • Show up for the people in your life. Be mindful and supportive of your loved ones and even acquaintances. Accompany them to Pride events if they want company or just let them know you’re a safe person to talk to.

  • Call your representatives/sign petitions. Rights for 2SLGBTQIA+ people are constantly under attack. All of us need to stand up to protect our vulnerable communities.

Look up what bills are being proposed in your area and who to contact about them.

See where your representatives stand and call or write to them to let them know your feelings.

Be aware of protests, boycotts, and community organizations in your area that you can take part in. Even if you can’t physically be there, often spreading the message or offering donations can help!

2SLGBTQIA+ support

The work left to do

Although the world has changed a lot in the years since Stonewall, the queer community as a whole still faces significant discrimination. Certain communities are especially vulnerable. People of colour and Indigenous people continue to struggle under systemic oppression that their white counterparts do not. People who are transgender–and very frequently transgender youth–have recently been targeted loudly by groups who want to strip their rights and medical care. In general, the community (and especially transgender people) deal with increased stigma, worse mental health, and higher rates of bullying and homelessness. (Learn more about Canada’s statistics here.)

It’s often said that Pride–Stonewall–started as a riot, and it’s important to remember that. The queer community is still fighting for equal treatment and the ability to live safely, without fear. Pride month is about more than parades and parties; we all, whether we’re queer or not, should take some time to support, advocate, and fight. There are a lot of ways to do that, including the following:

  • Stand up for others in small ways. If you hear someone saying something disparaging or making an insensitive “joke,” let them know it’s not okay. (This, of course, depends on your safety level in the situation.) 

  • Find ways to help in your community. There are a lot of volunteer opportunities out there! Check for local 2SLGBTQIA+ support groups in your community that could use help. Donating to little food pantries and homeless shelters is also helpful.

  • Let people in your life know you’re safe to talk to and be around. Actions speak louder than words in this case. Think about how you treat others, what you say, and whether you’re stepping up where you can. Sometimes all you need is a simple “you can talk to me if you want.” 

  • Do the work. If you don’t understand the 2SLGBTQIA+ community or an aspect of it, there are plenty of ways to learn. Check your local library for resources or start on the internet. 

  • Donate. You can donate time in the way of volunteering, but you can also donate money directly to 2SLGBTQIA+ causes. Finding local organizations to donate to is one of the best options! You can also check out Canada Help’s list of charities. 

  • Call your representatives, protest, and sign petitions. As discussed above, taking direct action is one of the best ways to protect the 2SLGBTQIA+ community and make your country a safer place for everyone. 

Happy Pride Month!

2SLGBTQIA+ support


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