Pride Month 2024


3 June 2024

June is Pride Month, a global celebration of the history, resilience, and achievements of the 2SLGBTQ+ community. It brings together people from all walks of life to honour inclusivity, diversity, respect, and equality. This month, we honor the vibrant history of the 2SLGBTQ+ community, acknowledging its role in guiding us towards a more inclusive future.

A Synopsis of Pride’s History in Ontario

1969: Canada’s Bill C-150 receives royal assent on June 27,1969. Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau sparks controversy with the passing of Bill C-150, which decriminalizes same-sex sexual acts.

1969: The Stonewall Riots. On June 28, 1969, New York City’s then-underground queer community fought back against police oppression when officers raided the popular bar, Stonewall Inn Bar. The Stonewall riots became a pivotal moment in the history of Pride, galvanizing the LGBT movement, across the world (including Ontario).

1970s: The concept of Pride emerges in Toronto and Ottawa. The vibrant, corporate-sponsored Pride events we know today have come a long way from their modest origins. In the early 1970s, they started as a small picnic and protest on the Toronto Islands, attended by only a few hundred people.

1981: First Pride parade takes place in Toronto.

1987: Updates to the Ontario Human Rights Code. Inclusion of sexual orientation in the Ontario Human Rights Code.

1989: First Pride Parade takes places in Ottawa.

1991: Toronto City Council proclaims Pride Day for the first time. The parade Grand Marshals was Two-Spirited People of the First Nations.

1995: Ontario became the first Canadian province to make it legal for same-sex couples to adopt. Followed closely by British Columbia, Alberta and Nova Scotia. In the next 16 years, the rest of Canada did the same.

These milestone events marked the beginning of a movement that has grown exponentially over the years. Key legislative milestones, such as the Canadian Human Rights Act of 1996 and the enactment of the Civil Marriage Act in 2005, have been instrumental in promoting equality and inclusion.

Despite significant progress in advancing 2SLGBTQ+ rights and acceptance, challenges persist. Social stigma and discrimination still affect the community, highlighting the need for continuous advocacy and education. Pride Month is both a celebration and a call to action, a time for reflection on the progress made, and a call to action to tackle these issues and foster a more inclusive world.

Evolution of the Pride Flag

The rainbow flag is an iconic symbol recognized by people and communities worldwide. Several pride flags have been created to represent the sexual and gender diversity of 2SLGBTQIA+ communities. Explore all the different flags and their meanings.

Get Involved

Here are some ways you can participate in Pride Month 2024:

Explore Public Health Ontario’s presentations:

Participate in local Pride festivals and events in your community to show support and celebrate diversity.

Explore Organizations Serving 2SLGBTQIA+ communities:

Join the Conversation Online

  • Use #Pride2024 on social to share your experiences and support the movement.

Check out the Government of Canada's downloadable digital toolkit to enhance your online participation.

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Published 3 June 2024