At Mount Saint Vincent University and in Halifax, we recognize Pride in July. This is a time to celebrate 2SLGBTQIA+* communities, as well as remind all of us about the continued struggle for equity faced by members of these communities. Like many things in our lives these days, Pride activities will look a little different this year. While we can’t join in-person events, like the MSVU President’s Pride BBQ, we can still show our #MSVUPride virtually.

Mount Saint Vincent University, which was founded on a commitment to equity and inclusion, stands firmly with the 2SLGBTQIA+ community. We embrace all that makes each of us unique, including sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression. We are grateful for the contributions of MSVU community members engaged in 2SLGBTQIA+ research, course delivery and development, support services and advocacy work.

A new, inclusive Pride flag was raised on campus earlier this week on the pole attached to the Seton Academic Centre. It includes additional colours to represent trans, Black and Indigenous people, and people of colour to demonstrate that the 2SLGBTQIA+ community stands in solidarity in the fight against all forms of discrimination, harassment and violence. Thank you to the MSVU 2SLGBTQIA+ Pride Advocacy Committee for providing the new flag, and for their work over the past year.

It’s important to reflect on the origins of Pride. The Stonewall Riots that took place in New York City in 1969 in response to a police raid on the Stonewall Inn, a known refuge for the LGBT (now 2SLGBTQIA+) community, led to Pride marches, parades, and celebrations in the United States and beyond. Often missed in this recognition is the leadership of Black people and people of colour who worked tirelessly to push the lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, and transgender rights movement forward. Marsha P. Johnson, a Black trans woman, was one of the main activists who lead the Stonewall Riots. Learn more here.

Stay tuned to the MSVU website and social media sites over the next while for Pride content. And please do show us how you’re recognizing Pride this year by using #MSVUPride on social media.

Wishing you a safe, healthy and happy Pride!

*2SLGBTQIA+ is an acronym for two-spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex and asexual, while + stands for other ways individuals express their gender and sexuality outside heteronormativity and the gender binary.