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LETTERS – the importance of pride month.

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Dear Editor, Even though June marks the beginning of summer vacation for many, this month is exciting because it is Pride Month. Pride Month was established to recognize and support the many diverse identities included within the Two-Spirit, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning, Intersex, Asexual, Plus (2SLGBTQIA+) community who continue to be oppressed and subjected to judgment. Pride Month is a celebration of the queer community and provides opportunities for connection, and to promote awareness that gender and sexual minorities are people in our community who deserve to fully participate in society. The Provincial Action Network on the Status of Women (PANSOW), states that organizations who provide resources to the queer community such as Quadrangle NL and Trans Support NL, currently do not receive any provincial funding. One reason is because the need for these resources is not widely recognized by the Provincial Government despite that many 2SLGBTQIA+ people disproportionately experience discrimination, violence and mental health challenges. Pride Month is essential for creating inclusion so that services needed for 2SLGBTQIA+ individuals are more accessible in workplaces, school systems and homes. This means that the 2SLGBTQIA+ community needs allies, an ally being someone who supports and celebrates 2SLGBTQIA+ identities, interrupts and challenges oppressive remarks and actions of others and willingly explores heterosexist and ciscentric biases within themselves. The Gateway Women’s Centre hopes that gender and sexual minorities feel comfortable and included in our community. During this year’s Pride Month and moving forward, the Gateway Status of Women Council encourages those who are not already one, to be an ally. If you or someone you know is looking for support, counselling or referrals, please reach out to the Gateway Women’s Centre at 709-695-7505.

Sincerely, Charlotte Osmond Summer Student, Gateway Women’s Centre

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