The CCC team in rainbow colours to support Pride

Pride Resources

Pride Month is typically celebrated in many places across the globe in the month of June, but here in YYC, we also celebrate Calgary Pride at the end of August. Keep on reading to learn more about the history of Pride and how you can support the LGBTQ2S+ community.

Hayley Sellick

This year marks 52 years since the Stonewall Riots. On June 28, 1969, members of the LGBT community staged an uprising after police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in downtown New York City. The riots are widely considered to be one of the most important events leading to the gay liberation movements. The first anniversary of the riots saw thousands of people participate in a march; this march now takes place every year around the world and is known as Pride 🌈 ⁣⁣

Pride Month is typically celebrated in many places across the globe in the month of June, but here in YYC, we also celebrate Calgary Pride at the end of August. Keep on reading to learn more about the history of Pride and how you can support the LGBTQ2S+ community.

Learn The History

You can learn more about The Stonewall Riots and how it served as a catalyst for the gay rights movement here. 

Canada has its own history in the struggle for gay rights. One well-known case is that of Everett Klippert, a Calgary bus driver whose wrongful incarceration for being gay led to the 1969 decriminalization of homosexual acts between consenting adults. However, this did not mean that members of the gay community had equal rights; homosexuality was still considered a "disorder' and was not removed from the Diagnostics and Statistics Manual of Mental Disorders until December 1973. More information about turning points and milestones can be found on the Queer Events website.

Calgary Pride, then known as Project Pride Calgary, was formed in 1987 by a group of the city’s gay and lesbian organizations. You can read more about the history of Calgary Pride on their website.

Coinciding with the Pride Festival, Calgary Gay History Project will be running a walking tour where participants can learn about significant LGBTQ2S+ places and people in the city. The tour will leave from the new Lois Szabo Commons at 5PM on Sunday, August 29. The event is free but the organization is collecting donations for Outlink: Calgary’s Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity. You can view more info and get tickets here.

Get Involved With Local Organizations

There are a number of ways you can be an ally and get involved. One way is by volunteering with an organization that works with the LGBTQ2S+ community. Calgary Pride enlists the support of hundreds of volunteers during Pride Week and there are a number of different volunteer opportunities.

You can also donate funds to local organizations, such as CCC Charity Partner, HomeFront. HomeFront is a non-profit organization in Calgary that works alongside the justice system, police and community partners to help free families from domestic violence. LGBTQ2S+ individuals face distinctive barriers that can prevent them from disclosing abuse and seeking help and the HomeFront team are committed to ensuring they are a safe, inclusive organization for LGBTQ2S+ individuals; their staff have received training on domestic violence within the LGBTQ2S+ community and how to best support LGBTQ2S+ clients. (You can read the Guest Blog they wrote for us back in June here.)

Egale (Equality for Gays and Lesbians Everywhere) is a national LGBT human rights organization. They advocate for equality, diversity, education and justice. They’re currently running their Egale’s #PrideInside2021 Marketplace, where a percentage of each purchase from our partners will be donated back to Egale. Plus, from now and until Labour Day (Sept 6), donations will be matched by an anonymous donor up to $20,000!

Teach and Support Children

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Calgary and Area are a local organization (and one of our 2021 Charity Partners!) that work to empower children and youth who are facing adversity through mentoring relationships. Through their PRISM program, they work to find supportive mentors for LGBTQ2S+ youth.

The Centre for Sexuality provides services and support for the LGBTQ+ community, as well as free counselling for families needing more information and resources in supporting their LGBTQ+ children. They host Camp fYrefly, a national leadership retreat for LGBTQ+ youth aged 14-24.

PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) Canada is a national organization that helps anyone who is struggling with issues of sexual orientation and gender identity. They also provide support and resources to parents, families, friends and colleagues. Though currently cancelled due to COVID restrictions, the Calgary chapter organizes a meeting on the last Wednesday of each month (except for the months of July, August and December).

In schools and classrooms, it’s important to talk with students about LGBTQ+ people and their struggles to achieve equity and justice in all aspects of their lives. Educators can attend workshops, designed to move their organization towards equitable diversity and inclusion. Students can consider organizing a Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) - “A student-led or community-based organization […] that is intended to provide a safe and supportive environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) children, teenagers, and youth as well as their cisgender heterosexual allies.”

Below are some relevant K-12 resources to bring LGBTQ history to our young people.

Lesson Strategy: Let’s Get It Right: Using Correct Pronouns and Names

Books: 10 Phenomenal Books to Read for LGBTQ Pride Month

There are a number of higher education institutions offering financial aid in the form of scholarships for LGBT students. This article about scholarships in Canada was written back in November 2020, but the scholarships are awarded annually and some are still accepting applications for the 2021/2022 academic year. 

Look At Your Workplace

According to research, 30% of LGBTQ employees in Canada report experiencing discrimination in the workplace. Egale offers organizations reliable, high-quality workplace training that teaches participants how to ‘create supportive conditions and foster positive interpersonal and institutional relationships with 2SLGBTQI identifying stakeholders’.

Alberta LGBTQ+ Chamber of Commerce provides networking opportunities for LGBTQ+ Businesses & Professionals. For an Inclusive Job Board, visit Pride at Work Canada.

Support The Arts

These LGBTQ charities offer a platform for self-expression, inspiration, and empowerment through art.

Calgary Queer Arts Society is a not-for-profit, charitable organization located in Calgary. They celebrate local and national queer artists and share diverse stories based in film.

Unison Choruses Canada acts as a national hub for Canadian LGBTQ2S+ choruses. Not only do they provide valuable safe spaces within their community, they act as advocates and ambassadors for the LGBTQ2S+ community at large, raising awareness of LGBTQ2S+ issues and championing acceptance of the LGBTQ2S+ community. You can visit their list of choirs here.

More Resources

The Centre for Newcomers is a Calgary organization but serves all AB communities. They provide one-on-one support services, information and settlement advice for individual newcomers to Canada. They also offer programs for people with permanent residency, refugee claimants, and LGBTQ+ people with any other status in Canada. Learn more about the organization.

Calgary Outlink is a community-based charity dedicated to providing support, education, outreach, and referrals for the LGBTQ2IA+ and allied community in Calgary. They offer support, peer groups, access to resources and educational opportunities.

The Alex Youth Health Centre offers LGBTQ+-friendly youth health services (including psychology) and a drop-in centre.