Students and staff gathered this morning on our main Campus for a PRIDE flag-raising and reflection.
Read the full draft of the beautiful and thoughtful address by one of our leadership students below:
To begin with I was asked to write a student speech for the raising of the PRIDE flag, in honour of PRIDE month. I was very excited and honoured to speak at the flag raising on behalf of the Queer Moffat community.
I am an 18 year old queer youth from Ottawa Ontario. Behind me, we have a flag that holds so much meaning in my heart, and in the hearts of others.
The first time the rainbow flag was flown was at a San Francisco freedom day parade, June 25th, 1978. It was a parade to support educators against the Briggs Initiative, a ballot to ban Lesbian, gay and bisexual people from working in public schools. The flag was made by a drag queen, Gilbert Baker.
Now, the rainbow flag is a symbol across the world: a symbol for equity and acceptance for the queer community. The fight has been happening for decades, not only do we fight for rights but we also fight for social acceptance and equity, rather than just tolerance.
The flag was designed with so much meaning.
Originally, each stripe on the 2SLGBTQQIA+ flag had, (and still has) a meaning:
The Red represents Life
The Orange represents Healing.
The Yellow represents Sunlight.
The Green represents Nature.
The Blue represents Harmony
The Purple represents Spirit
The Black and brown represent the queer people of colour in our community.
The Pink and blue represent transgender people.
This flag represents so much more than the sum of its parts.
This flag, in my heart, represents the freedom to be who you truly are: authenticity.
The flag also represents countless transgender youth who are unable or are afraid to transition.
The flag represents All the queer people of colour.
The flag represents All the disabled queer people who may not even be able to go to their own pride events due to inaccessibility.
The flag represents an appreciation to the 31 countries in which gay marriage is legal, and it represents a call for action for the rest.
The flag represents all the Homeless and ill Queer youth & adults
The flag represents a fight for the right to love and be authentic.
The flag represents all of the 2SLGBTQQIA+ activists who may have been criminalized and/or killed across the globe.
This flag is a representation of all that we (as a community) have been through and fought for and it represents the community as one whole.
The Flag represents authenticity, love, and connection.
The flag is authenticity, love, and connection.