“We must all stand up against hate, discrimination and injustice — during Pride Month and every day. To our LGBTQI2S members, friends, allies, and community members: we celebrate you and we stand with you.” — Larry Brown, NUPGE President
Ottawa (3 June 2020) — Every year, June is Pride Month in Canada. It is a time for celebration of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and two-spirit (LGBTQI2S) communities. It is also a time for all of us to stand together against the discrimination and injustice that continue, and to reflect on the work that remains.
Celebrating Pride during the COVID-19 pandemic
While many Pride events will take place virtually this year, the celebrations will continue.
Egale, a leading LGBTQI2S organization in Canada, has launched a #PrideInside campaign for the 2020 Pride season: "Pride might be indoors this year, but it's also an opportunity to reflect on all of the things we are proud of within ourselves and our community. #PrideInside is about sharing our inner Pride farther, wider, louder and more colourfully than ever before, but from inside of course!"
Local Pride organizations are exploring new ways to celebrate and to support these communities during the pandemic. For example, Toronto Pride is using this year's Virtual Pride to showcase the talents of local artists, makers, collectives, and performers in the LGBTQI2S communities. Several pride groups in the Atlantic provinces have joined the Pride from Home initiative, started by Halifax Pride. As organizers explained to the CBC, the initiative aims to foster a sense of community for LGBTQI2S individuals to combat physical isolation and the mental health impacts that result.
Survey reveals unique impacts of COVID-19 on LGBTQI2S communities
National survey research conducted by Egale in partnership with Innovative Research Group found that the COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted LGBTQI2S communities. The survey was conducted among a representative national sample of 2,000 Canadians overall and a representative national LGBTQI2S sample of 300.
Key findings include the following:
- Over half (52%) of LGBTQI2S households in Canada have faced layoffs or reduced hours due to the pandemic, compared to 39% of all households
- Almost 60% of LGBTQI2S respondents expected to experience negative mental health impacts in the near future, compared to 42% of the population overall
The full report can be found online.
Celebration and solidarity
“The pandemic has exposed the cracks and inequities in our systems,” said Larry Brown, President of the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE), “and it should renew our commitment to addressing them.”
Brown continued: “We must all stand up against hate, discrimination and injustice — during Pride Month and every day. To our LGBTQI2S members, friends, allies, and community members: we celebrate you and we stand with you.”
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 390,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. — NUPGE