Over the past few months, the LGBTQ2+ community and its allies have come together to celebrate the achievements, emancipation and identity of lesbians, gay, bi-sexual, transsexual, queer, two-spirited people, and that of everyone who identifies as being part of that community.
Through extraordinary circumstances this spring and summer, we’ve seen tremendous spirit, strength and resilience from all of those who celebrated Pride Season.
Virtual Pride events kept us connected despite physical distancing — culminating last week with Public Service Pride Week 2020.
We heard uplifting testimonies of acceptance…
Of hope and belonging…
And of promising change toward a culture that welcomes everyone equally, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation.
More than ever, the Defence team is seized with building the diverse, inclusive workforce we need to remain effective.
This year only, we’ve launched a number of initiatives, including:
- Canada Pride Citations to recognize the service and sacrifice of the LGBTQ2+ Purge survivors.
- Renaming the Navy’s service ranks to be more inclusive.
- Working with different communities to ensure our policies and programs respect all Defence team members.
We also know that Black, Indigenous and people of colour who are also part of the LGBTQ2 community go through additional hurdles in life and are subject to more prejudice, discrimination and hatred.
That’s why we’re working to address all forms of systemic bias as well as hateful or harmful conduct.
And that means maintaining close collaborative relationships with our colleagues, advisors, and champions on how to build safe, respectful and inclusive workplaces.
As the 2020 Pride Season comes to an end, I’m moved by the passion and progress of the Defence team leadership and employees, who are determined to make a difference.
I look forward to next year’s Pride Season, when we will gather again to celebrate more of what we’ve achieved together.
And I am inspired by our LGBTQ2+ members who teach us to be proud of who we are — each and every day, all year round.