On June 1, the University traditionally launches Pride month events across our three campuses. We delayed our institutional Pride message until today to recognize the 215 children buried at the Kamloops Indian Residential School and to acknowledge the traumatic legacy of residential schools that continues to impact Indigenous communities and families in Tk’emlúpste Secwépemc territory and beyond. We also modified the Pride ceremonies across our three campuses in the following ways:
- On St. George campus at Varsity arena and on the Scarborough campus, Pride and Trans flags are flying at half-mast.
- On the Mississauga campus, a moment of silence preceded a flag ceremony and unfurling of the Pride and Trans flags.
This year, we are marking Pride within the context of a global pandemic and both renewed and ongoing efforts to eliminate racism and faith-based discrimination here in Canada and around the world. We are more attuned than ever to the marginalization and oppression of equity-deserving communities, and the need to dismantle systemic barriers that prevent equitable access for all.
The origins of Pride reflect these challenges.On June 28, 1969, riots and demonstrations by LGBTQ2S+ communities erupted in response to police raids of the Stonewall Inn, a bar in New York City’s Greenwich Village. The riots served as a catalyst for the gay rights movement and are marked annually with Pride events as we work collectively to support and advocate for LGBTQ2S+ rights and equity.
I encourage members of the U of T community to extend your celebration, advocacy, and learning beyond Pride month. The Sexual & Gender Diversity Office, and the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Offices at UTM and UTSC have developed a wide range of events, resources, community spaces, and supports for our students, staff, faculty, and librarians across all three campuses. Key resources include Your Journey: A Career Guide for Trans and Nonbinary Students and the video More than Pronouns: A Dialogue on Trans-Inclusion in the Workplace. I also encourage you to attend an upcoming panel discussion exploring Inclusive Pedagogical Considerations for 2SLGBTQ+ Students.
The Sexual & Gender Diversity Office, Equity Offices and many partners across the tri-campus have also organized a broad range of Pride 2021 events. Visit the Pride month calendar on the new Sexual & Gender Diversity Office website to learn about the many ways to engage with Pride 2021 at U of T.
Key highlights and events:
- The U of T Pride Concert on June 22 offers an exciting alternative to the annual U of T Pride Pub. Presented by the SGDO in partnership with Hart House, the Office of Indigenous Initiatives, First Nations House, and the UTM Indigenous Centre, the concert will feature a performance by Juno award-winning singer-songwriter Jeremy Dutcher, who will also participate in an interactive Q&A following the concert. Dutcher’s unique aesthetic merges classical and pop music with his Wolastoq First Nation roots.
- On June 17, Positive Space hosts the annual #DisplayYourPride event. This is your opportunity to demonstrate your creative flair by decorating your workspace—or yourself—in support of Pride. Prior to this event, the St. George Positive Space’s team will hold a series of crafting sessions to help students, staff, faculty and librarians get into the Pride spirit.