Pride is about people. Pride is about community. Pride is about justice. Pride is about fighting back. Pride is, and always has been, a protest. 

Right now, there is much work needed to fight the regressive and dangerous words and policies from those whose voices are the loudest, and those who wield the most power. We must continue to fight for students to have safe and protected access to life-saving gay-straight alliances. For a ban on conversion therapy, once and for all. For the inclusion of LGBTQ2S+ stories and voices in our school curriculum. For equitable and timely access to necessary public services. For our right to protest. I am with you in this fight, and I know that if we support and care for one another, we can keep fighting, and we can win.

Pride is about more than just fighting back, though. It’s about imagining and fighting for better—for ourselves, for each other, and for our community. It’s about coming together, whether in person or virtually, to connect, plan, celebrate, and dream of a bright future. 

Pride is about celebrating those who fought and forged the path for all of us—the Black trans activists who put themselves on the line to fight for what they knew was right. It’s about celebrating ourselves—our individual journeys and the community we’ve built together. It’s about recognizing how far we’ve come, and how much better things are for many of us, while understanding that more work remains.

We must keep fighting for change not just in our government, but also in our workplaces, our communities, our political organizations, and in our queer organizations and spaces. Far too many people are still not safe to openly be who they are. Employees still experience homophobia and transphobia at work, and quit their jobs to escape. Individuals still face rejection and violence from their families and communities, and move away in search of safety. Countless people end up unhoused and in unsafe situations, and many of their lives are tragically cut short. 

We know that members of our community who are Indigenous, Black, and people of colour are at disproportionately high risk. This means that we must be actively anti-racist, we must listen to and amplify the voices of BIPoC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour) community members, and we must break our existing colonial structures in order to build a safe, equitable, and inclusive society for all of us. Because there is no Pride without all of us. 

Pride is a time to celebrate, to take up space, and to demand better for our community. For those of you who are struggling with your identity, your mental health, or finding your place, I see you. You belong here. You are loved. Although we can’t gather together and march this year, no matter who you are, I invite you to join me in celebrating Pride. 

Happy Pride, everyone.