June is Pride month in Canada. Other countries also recognize Pride, but may not have an officially designated month to celebrate diversity and LGBTQ communities, acknowledge their history, the hardships they have endured, and the progress that has been made. Just like in 2020, this year’s events will be largely virtual because of the pandemic. It’s important to know that we can keep the party going within COVID guidelines and still honour this important month. Video will once again be a major source of community and connection in 2021. In fact, here’s a handy explainer with some history on Pride and why June is a time to celebrate.
Let’s Get Digital, Digital
One good thing about virtual celebrations is that you can join in the fun, regardless of where you live! Take advantage of online parties, podcasts, installations, screenings, and more. The Phygital Festival is largely composed of online and streamed gatherings as well as smaller, distanced in-person events. There’s a collection of art installations across Toronto at Stackt Market, Harbourfront Centre, and Woodbine Beach. There will also be LED screens around the city. Be sure to check out some of the events so you don’t miss a minute of the action!
The culmination of Pride month in our city, the Toronto Pride Parade, is also going virtual. This year, the parade will happen at 2pm on Sunday, June 27. The live event can be streamed and will feature a 60-minute production about LGBTQ history, highlighting talent from the local community. In 2021, the city is marking 40 years of celebrating Pride and things really ramp up in the last two weeks of June. Here are just a few of the upcoming events:
- June 19: Pride Live is a live one-hour live event featuring Toronto musical talents
- June 20: Senior Pride and Family Pride
- June 25: Trans Pride
- June 26: Dyke Pride
Toronto has long been on the world map when it comes to Pride. Pride Toronto is a not-for-profit that works to celebrate everything about the 2SLGBTQ+ community. Their website is a great source of information and also a portal to many of the events that will be streamed this month. Visitors can check out live feeds and replay options, listen to playlists, shop merch partners, and read artist statements. The group’s social media channels are also a fun and colourful way to follow along with the celebrations.
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Pride month is a good time to talk about respecting the way a person identifies. You may have noticed something new popping up on a lot of signatures and social media handles lately. Many businesses and companies are now providing pronoun designations as an option. Instagram and LinkedIn are just two examples where users can choose to list their preferred pronouns as part of their profile.
Some individuals are most comfortable using they/them/their as personal pronouns. The point is to challenge assumptions, possibly based on appearance, and inform others of how you would like to be identified. When used this way, they/them refers to an individual and replaces “he” or “she”. If you’re having trouble understanding when and how to use these pronouns, check out this guide to gender identity terms. The video below from employment website Indeed is a powerful example of how using the proper pronoun can put a person at ease and show respect for identity.
Show Your Pride
Pride month is a big, bold, bright celebration that’s all about acceptance and understanding. And in a continuing global pandemic, we love that video can support so many virtual events and keep people connected. You’re just a click away from getting involved and supporting the LGBTQ+ community. Happy Pride from the Key West Video crew!