Pride 2021: B.C. salutes Vancouver Pride—and encourages more efforts for LGBT+ equality and recognition

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      B.C. Premier John Horgan issued this statement today (August 1) to mark Vancouver Pride 2021:

      "Pride means many things to many people. For some, it's a protest against ongoing discrimination and violence against 2SLGBTQ+ people. It can also be a celebration of love and joy, and a pledge of allyship with the queer community.

      Vancouver's Pride Parade is normally one of the largest events of the summer, bringing together over 650,000 people to march in the streets. 

      This year, most of Vancouver's Pride events, including today's parade, are being celebrated online or in smaller groups to keep communities and vulnerable people safe as we ease out of COVID-19 restrictions.

      During the pandemic, events like Pride moved into digital spaces to celebrate and educate. Virtual Pride has been an accessible way to reach out and connect people around the world who may not have normally felt comfortable or safe enough to participate in person. Unfortunately, online spaces also draw people who spread hate, violence, and harassment anonymously from behind a screen. 

      But Pride is not cancelled. Virtual and decentralized celebrations mean every voice needs to be that much louder in the fight for change.

      While progress has been made, the fight for equality and recognition isn't over. The hard work must continue.

      Our government will continue to make sure all our services are accessible and inclusive for people of all sexual orientations and genders—from health care to education to housing. We will continue our support for sexual orientation and gender identity education in schools. We will continue to fight for equality at the local, provincial and national levels.

      We must continue to take action. Together, we can build a province where everyone is free to live without fear of violence or discrimination, and where everyone is treated equally and with dignity for who they are and who they love."

      Province of British Columbia