Pride: Pursuing an Inclusive Future Together

FPSE at pride

Pride began as a protest, as community resistance to police raids on LGBT spaces in cities across North America. Today, pride is a celebration of how far LGBTQ/2S people have come, and a reminder of what’s still left to do. I’m inspired when individuals see the power of the collective and take action together because solidarity and community resistance are powerful tools for change.

Although the pace of change is sometimes frustrating, relentlessly pursuing a future of equality is showing results. Over the past two years, identity and gender expression protections have been added to the BC Human Rights Code and Canadian Human Rights Act. Last fall the BC NDP announced the re-establishment of the BC Human Rights Commission. We submitted a report to BC Parliamentary Secretary Ravi Kahlon, who oversaw a public engagement consultation to guide that process.

Human rights protections are crucial for LGBTQ/2S people, who experience discrimination, homophobia, transphobia, harassment, and violence at higher rates than others. Clearly, much remains to be done to end discrimination and hold those who perpetrate hate and violence accountable for their actions. We must remain politically active and involved to elect politicians who will keep up with the realities of our time, not roll the clock back on human rights (such as the recent move to reverse modernized sexual education curriculum by the new Ontario government). You can start by signing and sharing a MoveUP petition calling for Canadian Blood Services to end their discriminatory blood donor ban. Together, we can make a more equal future.

Most pride events today involve less protest and more parades, but keep the spirit of community resistance alive, and allow us to show solidarity with our LGBTQ/2S coworkers, friends, and neighbours. Everyone deserves to be safe and respected in their education, work, and day to day life. Many of you began teaching because of the profound difference education can make for marginalized communities; it is so good to work with you, and bring this spirit of openness, safety and inclusivity to post-secondary education. Every time you and your colleagues encourage a learning and working environment of inclusion and respect for LGBTQ/2S students and educators, you are making BC a better place to live and learn.

I hope many of you and your colleagues join pride celebrations around the province in solidarity with the LGBTQ/2S community.

Have a safe and happy pride! 🏳️‍🌈

In solidarity,

George Davison
President, FPSE

CUPE1004

About FPSE

The Federation of Post-Secondary Educators of BC is the provincial voice for faculty and staff in BC teaching universities, colleges and institutes, and in private sector institutions. FPSE member locals, represented by Presidents' Council and the Executive, represent over 10,000 faculty and staff at 18 public and 12 private sector institutions.