Pride Resources (Canada)
I’m a Cis male that would like to support my LGBTQA+ friends and family in their journeys. Do you have any resources that pertain to Canada that might be helpful?
Dear Cis Supporter,
First, let me say that it’s amazing that you are being proactive in supporting your friends and family. Not everyone has that support.
I have gathered a few things for you to take a look at. There are so many different resources out there, but these are as good a place to start as any. First, you’ll want to check out this page on Queer Events (https://www.queerevents.ca/canada/pride/history). It has a great timeline for the history of Canadian Pride. After you’ve taken a look at that, check out the rest of the amazing resources on the site like the sections for events, education, history and culture, and further resources.
Second, I would point you to Pride at Work (https://prideatwork.ca/resources/). They geared this particular site more towards the employee/employer relationship, but can be useful when supporting those you love. Having the knowledge to help should they ever find themselves needing guidance in regard to work can be an amazing relief and lets them know that they aren’t alone, and at the very least have you in their corner.
The PRIDE Project (https://www.theprideproject.ca/about-1) is another great resource. Their mission is “Is to provide and opportunity for all of us to work together to create braver spaces. A place for Queer and Trans folk and dismantle DESTRUCTIVE Heteronormative conversation through social ADVOCACY and Justice.” If those you are looking to support are youth, you’ll want to check out the study they have listed on their website. There is a PDF of the Trevor National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health.
The CBC.ca article Celebrating Pride Month 2021. It’s full of amazing stories from Saskatchewan’s LGBTQ community that will bring a new perspective to those reading it, tips on using they/them pronouns, a list of Pride non-profits in Saskatchewan, pertinent resources related to Pride.
Movies and Documentaries
In addition to the resources I listed above, there are some great films and documentaries to watch. If you have access to CBC Gem check out Fire Song, Drag Kids, Take me to the Prom, Keyboard Fantasies: The Beverly Gleen-Copeland Story, or Deep in Vogue. Don’t have access to CBC Gem, check out the Netflix documentary Secret Love, which is about a 71-year old love story of two Saskatchewan-born women. If you are a baseball fan, this is a good one, as one of the women is Terry Donahue who was a Canadian utility player in women’s baseball.
Another thing you can do is introduce yourself with your pronouns. This will allow the person you are corresponding with to know that you are aware of the different pronouns and accept the use of them. For example, if I were to introduce myself in conversation I would say, “Hi, I’m Kajira, and I use she/her/hers or they/them/their pronouns. Nice to meet you.” If they introduce themselves first and don’t include their pronouns, you could ask them, “It’s nice to meet you. What pronouns do you use?” It’s a simple and respectful way to break the ice and show support at the same time.
One last thing before I close, and this may be the simplest thing of all. Ask those you love and care for, how they would like to be supported. It can be different for everyone. Some may just want to know that you are there for them. Some may want you to accompany them to an event or appointment. Others may just want to know that you will be an ally year round, not just during Pride month, as the issues are there for those in the LGBTQA+ community all the time.
I have thrown a lot of information at you and it can be a lot to take in. But just remember, the fact that you took that first step to reach out and find information is an important one. It means more than you could ever imagine to those you are supporting in their journey.
The road to equality is a tough one and we are far from the world being perfect for everyone in it. But with more amazing humans like you who are willing to join the LGBTQA+ community in their fight, we may just get there sooner than later. Please don’t forget that you are appreciated. Your willingness to love unconditionally means the world to those who may not have a lot of support. Thank you for being an ally.
(She/Her/Hers or They/Them/Theirs)