For Immediate Release
11 July 2023
“To everyone in the 2SLGBTQIA+ community in St. John’s – Happy Pride!
“St. John’s has been holding community celebrations as far back as the 1970s starting with the very first beach fire, and it’s been held on a Tuesday in July ever since. It is exciting to see that event continue across generations to this day.
“The community has worked hard to create spaces and opportunities for its members to find each other, and be safe with one another. In spite of the advancements made over the decades, the 2SLGBTQIA+ community here in St. John’s, across the province, and the country continue to face hate, adversity, and exclusion.
“There are people, fueled by, intolerance, hate and division, who would like to see us go backwards as a society and erode the rights and protections of 2SLGBTQIA+ people in Canada. This is not an option. The NL NDP has always, and will always stand firm with the community and protect their rights.
“The NDP has been an advocate for the community, and will continue to be. We are proud as a party to have had the first openly gay member elected to the House of Assembly. We have called for improved access to Gender Affirming Care in this province, and improved mental health supports in schools to support 2SLGBTQIA+ youth navigate their journeys while in school.
“Many people ask why we need Pride celebrations, and why they continue. I can tell you in speaking with the community I understand why. As a former teacher, I know the work that goes into making a school inclusive, in making society inclusive. Saying our society is inclusive does not make it so. It requires work and education to make it a reality. Pride activities are about education and inclusivity.”
“So long as hate continues to target this community, teachers celebrating the diversity of families through pride celebrations are vilified, protesters show up at government offices and legislatures to attack this community – I will continue to celebrate pride, and I encourage everyone to do the same and meet a great community of people.
“Many in this community are feeling unsafe, and they need the support of allies. If you haven’t already – put up a pride flag. It sends a clear signal to the people in your neighbourhood that your home is a safe place. We’ll see you at the parade on July 23rd, and Happy Pride.”
For further information, contact Eddy St. Coeur, Director of Communications, NDP Caucus at 729-2137 (o), or email@example.com