Pride (and Prejudice)

18 March 2022



Anisha KhullarArt Girls Jungle, 26 May 2020, commissioned for Pride Month MYUNiDAYS

This week, UAlberta celebrated Pride Week. And we needed it. With 2SLGBTQA+ communities numbering just over 13% at our university, and in the midst of a pandemic that has highlighted and, in some cases, heightened social inequities across the board, it is important to remember the kind of harms queer and trans communities face. It is only this past November that conversion therapy was banned in Canada, several Alberta MPs voting against the ban. In Texas, trans kids are being denied gender-affirming care through bigoted legislation, and their families are being accused of child abuse for supporting them. In Florida, students and educators are being restricted by the Don’t Say Gay bill. In Ukraine, LGBTQ soldiers fighting against a Russian invasion fear that Putin’s “gay purge” may become a new reality, and Ukrainian LGBTQ refugees face violence, discrimination, and possible arbitrary detention or abuse outside their borders.   

Pride Week, with its roots in riotous political struggle, predominantly spearheaded by trans women of colour, is an active space of resistance, one that defies erasure, underlines violence, celebrates existence, and unifies against fear. Although the effects of neoliberalism have in recent years put a stranglehold on Pride, corporatizing it for brand awareness, the fact remains that it is an essential, and inherent, part of queer intransigence. IG stands with our 2SLGBTQA+ community, and will continue to support and promote research and policymaking committed to social justice efforts.