Premier David Eby and Kelli Paddon, Parliamentary Secretary for Gender Equity, have released the following statement in honour of Pride 2023:
“As communities throughout B.C. come together to celebrate Pride 2023, we celebrate the many ways our 2SLGBTQIA+ friends, neighbours, colleagues and family members make our province better.
“Today, we join members of the Victoria Pride community in raising the Pride flag at the B.C. legislature. We also recognize Pride as not only a single day or month of celebration: it’s a year-round call to raise awareness, empower one another and create sustained change.
“As we celebrate Pride, we must continue to denounce threats, hate and violence against 2SLGBTQIA+ communities in B.C. and around the world. We are seeing a concerning rise in incidents where people who are transgender and gender diverse are being targeted with threats in person and online. Thank you to everyone who continues to oppose the rise in violence and discrimination – we are with you.
“Hate and discrimination have no place in our communities. The joy and laughter, colour and music of Pride celebrations stand in stark defiance of hate while lifting up those who continue to experience discrimination. We can never forget that Pride celebrations began as a form of protest and that work continues to this day to ensure equity for the 2SLGBTQIA+ community.
“In B.C., we are working to represent the spectrum of gender identity on government ID, provide gender-affirming surgeries here in the province, and remove gendered language in B.C. regulations and laws to ensure everyone has equal access to government services.
“The B.C. SOGI Educator Network is also helping to make B.C. schools more inclusive and welcoming, because all children express themselves in their own unique way. School must be a place where all students, staff and families feel safe and that they belong and have respect for each other’s differences.
“It’s also important to recognize the many visible examples of support for Pride around B.C. Hundreds of 2SLGBTQIA+ organizations and advocates provide support, education and awareness, and organize community-based Pride celebrations throughout the province for everyone to enjoy.
“Today and every day, we will continue working with our partners to make British Columbia a place where everyone feels safe and free to be who they are.”