The University of Toronto is kicking off its month-long celebration of Pride 2020 with a virtual raising of flags across its three campuses.
“From its inception, Pride has always been more than a celebration. Pride commemorates pain and loss within LGBTQ2S+ communities and highlights the importance of fighting discrimination,” said Karima Hashmani, U of T’s executive director, equity, diversity and inclusion.
“It is a reminder of the importance of resisting homophobia and transphobia and acknowledging the experiences of QTBIPOC communities. Pride programs intentionally centre queer, trans, Black, Indigenous, people of colour (QTBIPOC) experiences, with a focus on embedding and engaging LGBTQ2S+ Indigenous people, culture and stories.
“On all our campuses, both the Trans flag and the ‘More Colour, More Pride’ flag will be raised.”
Hashmani added that U of T is committed to being intentionally inclusive and the raising of the ‘More Colours; More Pride’ flag highlights the representation, experiences and inclusion of QTBIPOC communities.
Adding the black and brown stripes to the Pride flag is now more critical than ever, according to Hashmani. She said the most recent events of racialized violence against Black lives highlight the importance of continuing to educate, to act and respond to racism, and to be intentional.
“There is still much more work to be done as we not only listen but continue to create change,” said Hashmani. “It is especially important to us right now that QTBIPOC communities know that their voices and experiences matter, especially as a member of the U of T community.”
The virtual flag raising will be followed by the traditional raising of the ‘More Colours; More Pride’ and Trans Pride flags on each of the university’s three campuses on June 4.
“The Pride flag, like the LGBTQ2S+ community, will continue to evolve and we hope that this ‘More Colour, More Pride’ flag will contribute to QTBIPOC being seen, heard, and valued on campus,” Hashmani said.
“We are immensely proud of the rich diversity in our LGBTQ2S+ community, and wish everyone at U of T a happy Pride.”