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What does Pride mean to you?

Pride means different things to different people. To some it means celebration.  Celebration of how far gay rights have come in Canada, celebration of sexuality, celebration of queer communities and relationships. For others it’s a time to rally together and make a political statement about how we still have a long way to go. It’s a space to recognize the battles that are still being fought and show solidarity with those who live in countries where simply being who you are can still mean civil rights abuses and at worst, death. In Russia, where promoting homosexual “propaganda” through the media became illegal last year, pride parades are met with violence.  In Uganda homosexual acts can be punished by a lifetime prison sentence and in Iran homosexuals can be executed.

So when you think about it, celebrating pride in Canada is a privilege. It’s one that we don’t often think about when we see banana hammock sporting men gyrating on floats, but it is, no matter how we choose to celebrate it, or what it means to us.

For some Pride is recognizing that our families can be as diverse and unique as our gender expression, our sexual identities, our passions and our kinks. Pride can be parents marching side by side with their gay children, and vice versa. Or Pride can be same-sex partners bringing their children to their first parade and teens from less-than accepting households finding a queer community for the first time. But ultimately Pride is about no longer having to hide who we are and coming together to celebrate our collective courage and diversity. So whether you attend Pride events as a spectator, an ally or a member of the queer community, what does pride mean to you?

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