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Happy Pride Day in Vancouver from Spectrum and Spectrum Press!

July 30, 2011

Sunday is Vancouver’s Pride parade, a celebration of diversity and the ever changing picture of civil rights in our worlds, both small (our networks of people we care about) and large (all the countries in the world).   In other cities around the world, on different dates, other parades are happening.    We are proud that some of the people involved in our agency will be in the parade, while others will be watching and cheering them on.   Last year was the first time that I attended a TASH event by and for people with disabilities who were gay, lesbian, transexual, bisexual and questioning.   This year was the first time (that I know of) that someone GLBT was elected to an important self advocacy position and The Centre, Vancouver’s community resource for GLBT people, hosted a regular meeting of people with disabilities.   The “It Gets Better” campaign to speak to GLBT youth considering suicide and let them know that, as adults, they can find a world of acceptance, peers and allies, has been a powerful and, hopefully, world-changing thing over the last year – it is community development at its best.   People who have never spoken up before have come forward to protect children and young people that are like they themselves were as children; athletes have drawn lines in the sand to protect those who are vulnerable; politicians have come forward to sign for and support equal rights in New York state.   It’s a powerful time.   I can remember when I started speaking in public about disability, feeling that with that “front of the room” power I needed to let people know that I was gay, so that they could ask questions about someone they supported, or someone they worked with, or for – and so that GLBT people in the room could see that we can have influence and or experiences can have value.   It’s a hard thing, and I still think a necessary thing.   Children are still committing suicide, people with disabilities are still bullied more than the average person and those with a disability and a visible difference are still at risk, people are still fearful about being who they are in their workplaces.   But, as Dan Savage says, “it gets better” – right before our eyes!   Let’s keep working to make sure it gets better for us all.

Congratulations and Happy Pride!

 

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