Every time you are brave enough to be who you truly are you pave the way for someone else to do the same 

  Vancouver’s worldwide reputation for diversity and inclusion becomes especially visible during the enormous Pride celebrations happening this weekend! 

  Pride is unique because it is a time to celebrate love and acceptance; a time when literally all the colors of the rainbow permeate the streets. Join the LGBTQ2+ crowd with their straight allies as we gather to celebrate their true selves while recognizing the struggles they face. Pride is on a mission to unite and empower people and to celebrate the history, courage, and diversity of the community. 

  Amongst the glee, glitter, and gaiety there`s an important history still being made. It is important to remember that the LGBTQ2+ community is still being discriminated against for their various identities and Pride is an important part of recognizing those experiences. When people are included and participate in their community, good things happen, and Vancouver should consider itself fortunate in being able to proudly fly the rainbow flag, as many places still are unable to.

  Historically Vancouver began celebrating back in 1973, with a small Picnic in Ceperley Park, and the first Pride parade in 1978 fast forward 46 years and we now celebrate the entire week with multiple events capped off with the Parade on Sunday, August 4th, 2019. In recent years attendance has been recorded at over 650,000 people. Taking Place in the West End in the Heart of the “gaybourhood” of Davie Village, each Pride Parade showcases just how diverse and Beautiful our local community is.

  We have so much to Celebrate, however, I feel it is also important to note, that we have mountains yet to climb. In my lifetime alone we have moved from the AIDS scare in the 1980s, where the only Hospital in the Lower mainland who would accept AIDs cases was St Paul’s. (Literally other hospitals would load suspected cases into Taxis and send them to St Paul’s) to our School districts putting in place LGBT- inclusive SOGI policies to protect and educate some of our most Vulnerable Youth. (Note these polices have just started going in as recently as 2018 and not all School Districts have done so.) 

  So please let’s keep moving forward, Allies let’s not just support, but actively and vocally endorse our Friends in the LGBTQ2+ community. I challenge you to ask yourself what more can I do; how can I actively work to make changes that are way past due. Let’s make this next year even more supportive and awesome than the last. Let’s be able to Celebrate even more significant wins this time next year.

  Head downtown this weekend and check out all the amazing festivities this of inclusivity and diversity celebration has to offer!

~Jenine and Michiko @SweetSerenityYoga