Pride Celebrations 2023

Land Acknowledgement by IPS' Friend Laurie MacDonald - Photo by Victoria Pride Society

In July of 2023, the picturesque city of Victoria, British Columbia, burst into a kaleidoscope of colours, love, and resilience as it played host to one of its most extraordinary Pride celebrations to date. As the LGBTQ+ community and its allies flocked to the streets, parks, and waterfront, Victoria became a vibrant tapestry of inclusivity, unity, and celebration. Now, as we look back at the remarkable journey that was Victoria’s 2023 Pride, we embrace the opportunity to relive the unforgettable moments, reflect on the progress made, and honor the tireless efforts that have shaped this beautiful coastal city into a haven of acceptance and love. A time when love truly conquered all.

Personal pride values encompass intentional family support, speaking our truths, expressing distinct and radical art, and embracing self-love. As Kelly Legge beautifully stated, pride involves lifting up one another within our chosen families, creating a network of support and affirmation. It is a platform where we can fearlessly share our authentic selves and stories, allowing our voices to be heard. Additionally, pride offers opportunities to showcase our unique and revolutionary forms of art, highlighting the beauty and resilience of our diverse identities. It is a celebration of self-acceptance and self-care, emphasizing the importance of nurturing our own well-being. In line with Rachelle Dallaire’s perspective, pride also signifies the creation of inclusive and safe spaces where all individuals can feel valued, respected, and embraced for who they are. These values of inclusion, self-expression, and creating safe havens form the essence of personal pride, fostering a sense of belonging and empowerment for everyone involved

Pride is of utmost importance in relation to the training at the Indigenous Perspectives Society: Centre of Excellence in Community Education. All My Relations: Supporting Two Spirit and Indigenous 2SLGBTQI* Youth. Pride serves as a catalyst for social change, understanding, and acceptance within societies. By actively celebrating and supporting diverse identities, including Two Spirit and Indigenous 2SLGBTQI* youth, pride creates a space where their experiences, struggles, and triumphs can be acknowledged and validated. This training equips participants with the knowledge and tools to navigate the intersectionality of Indigenous culture, sexual orientation, and gender identity, fostering a more inclusive and culturally sensitive approach to supporting Two Spirit and Indigenous LGBTQ* youth. Pride not only strengthens these individuals’ resilience and self-esteem but also helps dismantle systemic barriers, challenge stereotypes, and build bridges between different communities. Ultimately, pride empowers us to create a society that embraces and cherishes the richness and diversity of all its members.

2SLGBTQI* (Two Spirit, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer, Indigiqueer, * refers to all other beautiful beings in the extended family)

Johnny Poutina - Photo by Victoria Pride Society