Supporting local communities for Pride 2020

In August 1966, trans women, drag queens, and other members of the LGBTQ+ community fought for their rights and fair treatment outside Compton’s Cafeteria in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood. Three years later on June 28, 1969, the LGBTQ+ community, once again, rose up against inequitable treatment and police misconduct at the Stonewall Inn. For both of these historic moments, LGBTQ+ people of colour—and in particular Black trans women and trans women of colour—helped lead the fight against hate and injustice. In many respects, the modern day LGBTQ+ movement for equality was born from these rebellious acts and the many events preceding them.

Pride should still be a protest. For those within the BIPOC and LGBTQ+ community—especially Black+ trans women—the injustices we’re seeing today are a reminder of past and present struggles for equity, justice, and equality under the law. We believe communities must show up for one another, and we stand in solidarity with the Black+ community across the world, honoring the longstanding Pride tradition of unity.

This year for Pride, we’re focusing on helping local organizations in our community that are creating change for LGBTQ+ people of colour, trans and non-binary communities, LGBTQ+ families, and many more.

Supporting local organizations

Local LGBTQ+ organizations are providing critical services for those in need, whether they’re helping someone find a bed in a shelter, offering skills and training services, or advocating for more inclusive and equitable policies. Lives depend on these organizations.

One of these organizations is Pride Toronto. Founded in 1981, Pride Toronto has a legacy of purposeful activism for eqality and sharing the diverse stories and perspectives of the LGBTQ+ community. This year, we’re proud to be a Gold sponsor for Pride Toronto and support their work to bring the annual pride celebrations online. The diverse programming has everything from trivia, workouts with olympians, club nights, and an online Pride parade on June 28.

Digital skills training for local businesses

To support LGBTQ+ small businesses and professionals, we’re partnering with Venture Out and Tech Proud on Digital Skills Pride Week from June 22 – 26. In collaboration with other tech companies, we’ll host sessions for small businesses around maintaining productivity, best practices for remote working, creating a website, and building an online presence. Businesses can learn more and register here.

Together, virtually

This year, Pride will feel different for many of us. We’re finding ways to bring people together virtually, including a toolkit that helps organizations host remote Pride events.

We’ve also launched a collection of videos on our YouTube Canada channel to elevate LGBTQ+ voices and share historic Canadian civil rights moments. Dive into interviews from The Queer Network, and listen to personal stories from a collection of Canadian creators, including Julie Vu, GigiGorgeous and AsapSCIENCE.

While Pride is usually marked by jubilant marches and beautiful parade floats, it’s much more than that. For us, Pride is about the ongoing struggle for equity, visibility, and acceptance. We’ll be spending Pride as allies to our the Black+ community members, reflecting on the many LGBTQ+ people of colour who started our liberation movement decades ago, and finding ways to remedy systemic injustices.