A Brief History of Pride in Canada

It’s Pride Month. So, what does this mean exactly? It’s a celebration of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, pansexual, Two-Spirit, asexual and ally (LGBTQQIP2SAA or LGBTQ2+) communities. It’s a time to recognize the rights and achievements of people belonging to this community: the right to marry, right to adopt and legal equality.

There is a long history of celebrating Pride in Canada. Arguably, it started with the First Gay Liberation Protest and March, at Parliament Hill in Ottawa in 1971. In 1973, Pride Week was established for national LGBT rights. This week-long celebration included various festivities including dances, art, picnics and film screenings in cities across the country. The first Pride Parade in Canada was unofficially held in Vancouver in 1978. However, it was not until 1981, that the official municipal Pride Parade was held in Vancouver. Vancouver and Montreal hosted the first two official Pride marches and festivals in the country. Official Pride events like these, have expanded to more cities across Canada. Eventually, Pride grew to be more inclusive as well, celebrating even more members of our community.

To learn more about the history of Pride in Canada, go to this website: https://www.queerevents.ca/canada/pride/history

Watch the City of Markham’s Flag Raising Ceremony for Pride Month here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UxWfCz61P_E&feature=youtu.be&utm_source=BenchmarkEmail&utm_campaign=Special_Staff_eNews%3A_Celebrate_Pride_Month_with_Us!_TEMPLATE&utm_medium=email

Celebrate Pride Month with York Pride Festival: http://yorkpridefest.com/

We also have a reading list below to learn more about LGBTQ2+ communities and to celebrate Pride. We are all different but we are also all human. Let’s celebrate each other.

Pride Month

A collection of eBooks to learn more about the LGBTQ2+ community.

View Full List


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