Written by UNICEF Canada Youth Advocate Cyrus, 19 years old, from Ontario. 

As we celebrate Pride Month, we should be proud of all the work we have done over the last few decades to make our 2SLGBTQ+ community feel safer.  

The banning of conversion therapy and the passing of bills granting social and financial equality are representations of our willingness and determination to protect the marginalized members of the 2SLGBTQ+ community. Open acknowledgments and reconciliation of our discriminatory past have been presented by our government and public service institutions. They are public demonstrations of Canada’s resolve to not just remember our past, but ensure a safer, diverse, and protected future.  

Despite these accomplishments, we should not let our foot off the gas. While we have made progress that we should be proud of, we are never immune from sabotage and backsliding.  

Still to this day, not all of Canada is safe for our 2SLGBTQ+ community. While we celebrate Pride Month in some cities with massive parades, markets, and celebrations, some towns have banned public Pride demonstrations. While in some places children are given resources to find themselves, in others, children cannot confide in their teachers without being at risk of being outed. 

This Pride Month, remember all the progress we have made. Remember the struggle that the people before us had to go through to get to where we are. Feel pride in the care we have for our marginalized communities. And always remember that we need to be alert to potential threats that may put our fellow Canadians at risk of not feeling like they belong or matter.  

While Canada is great, it’s not perfect. While it is hard, perfection is something we should look to achieve, and it starts with us. Talk to your friends, go to Pride marches and parades, donate to 2SLGBTQ+ charities and support 2SLGBTQ+ businesses. If you want to be an ally, make your voice heard, and fight for what you believe in. 

This is a guest author blog. The views or opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position or policy of UNICEF Canada.