Statement on Pride Winnipeg’s Commitment to Working with Our Community to Make Pride More Inclusive, Safe, Diverse and Accessible

(Winnipeg, MB; July 21, 2016) – Pride Winnipeg is committed to making our organization and all of our activities more inclusive, safe, diverse and accessible. To accomplish this, Pride Winnipeg is engaging with various members and groups of our community to receive feedback and discuss ways we can address concerns in order to improve as an organization. We’ve also reflected on our past and acknowledge that we haven’t always handled challenging situations up to the standard that we are striving to achieve, such as staying silent on incidents of racism in our community and not providing support to the Queer and Trans People of Colour (QTPOC) in their time of need. We apologise for past inactions and we are committed to supporting QTPOC and speaking out against acts that are harmful to members of our community.

Over the last 29 years, Pride has evolved from a small march down Memorial Boulevard, to a massive parade and festival celebrating LGBTTQ* rights and equality. Although Pride’s focus in recent years has turned toward celebration, we must acknowledge that many members of our community are still fighting to be heard and certain communities and voices are being left behind. Pride Winnipeg is committed to working with QTPOC, the Indigenous and Two-Spirited community and persons with accessibility challenges to ensure their voices are heard.

As a first step of many to come, Pride Winnipeg is expressing support for the action taken by Black Lives Matter (BLM) Toronto and is committed to working with the Manitoba QTPOC community to make all Pride Winnipeg activities more inclusive, safe, diverse and accessible. Pride Winnipeg will be holding a community session with QTPOC members of our community to review the demands made by BLM Toronto and explore ways we can adapt them for our Pride activities in Winnipeg. We also encourage all QTPOC to reach out to us (see ways you can reach us below) to share ideas and recommendations on how we can better serve all members of our community.

While we cannot change our past, we can acknowledge our failures and take action to create a positive future. Pride Winnipeg is excited and grateful for the opportunity to work with our community on making our Pride a Pride for all.

You can reach Pride Winnipeg with feedback or to request a meeting in the following ways:

Pride Winnipeg – The Pride of the Prairies – is one of the largest celebrations between Toronto and Vancouver of LGBTTQ* (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, two-spirit, queer, questioning, intersex, and asexual) people and their allies, supporters and friends. Our mission is to affirm the lives of everyone by generating and participating in events that celebrate the history, culture, spirit and pride of people within the Winnipeg community. We invite everyone from far and wide to join our welcoming city and celebrate Pride in Winnipeg – the heart of the continent.