June: The Month of Intersectionality
June is #PrideMonth, and with the outpouring of anti-Black racism protests across the globe affirming that #blacklivesmatter, it is important to remember that the first Pride was not a celebration.
Instead, Pride began rooted in struggle and protest at the Stonewall Inn in New York City (1969), led by Marsha P. Johnson, Stormé DeLarverie, Sylvia Rivera, and countless other LGBTQ+ people that had the courage to stand up for their rights.
June is also #IndigenousHistoryMonth. The alignment of celebrating Indigeneity and diverse gender and sexual identities also means giving particular attention to Two-Spirited peoples and their lived experiences. Two-Spirited peoples face unique challenges when confronting racism within the LGBTQ+ community and homophobia within modern Indigenous communities (to learn more about the Two-Spirit Identity, visit ABS Canada.)
In Canada, we are not absent from discrimination and systemic racism. Both historically and in the present – we have our own issues of systemic racism and the mistreatment of Indigenous, Black, and other racialized communities which have eroded family and social structures.
All of this means that this year’s events and celebrations will look a little different. Not just because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but because of how intersectional these issues are. In the words of the GLAAD organization, “There can be no pride if it is not intersectional. We are, Together in Pride”.
We understand that mental health is irrevocably tied to experiences of injustice and disparity. If you need someone to talk to, please do not hesitate to contact us at (519) 743-6333 or visit www.counsellingwr.ca to learn more about resources that are best-suited and available to you. We are here for you.
Please note: Our community partners at KW Counselling have created a series of virtual pride events this month. To learn more and sign up, please visit https://ok2bme.ca/virtual-pride-with-ok2bme/.