Step up and show us your Pride

June 9, 2020 – Defence Stories

June is Pride Month in Canada. Early June typically kicks off the Pride season of festivals and celebrations from coast to coast to coast that run until the end of August. Participation with and in pride celebrations are just some of the ways that the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) shows their respect to our team members from the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and 2-spirited (LGBTQ2+) communities. More importantly it embodies the principle of inclusivity which is key to success in everything we do. This year, despite COVID-19, will not be deterred as we, together, in a safe and respective manner, celebrate and show our individual and collective Pride.

The entire Defence Team and Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) are committed to the Canadian ideals of diversity, inclusion, and respect. By embracing diversity, we draw on all of the unique strengths and abilities of Canada’s population, which enhances our operational effectiveness. Inclusivity unites all of us as one team, and pride celebrations are a reminder of how amazingly diverse we are and just how we garner strength through diversity.

Sharing our Pride gives us unity of purpose making each of us better as people and more relevant as an organization reflecting Canadian values. Whether it’s raising a flag on bases or wings, celebrating from home, virtually or abroad, we want the Defence Team and veterans to show us your Pride2020 now and throughout the year.

As part of your individual or group celebrations, we ask that you submit your photos and messages or quotes to: +Internal Communications internes@ADM(PA)@Ottawa-Hull. All photos must be accompanied by:

  • Sender’s name, email, contact phone number, and rank, if applicable. Please use your @forces.gc.ca email address, if possible, or alternate email address
  • A brief caption that describes the photo and includes the location/date the image was taken (100 words max)

A gallery of images will be created for all to access and share, which will be featured across our Defence Team and VAC communications platforms and all social media accounts.

Pride events celebrate diversity and the LGBTQ2+ communities, acknowledge their history and achievements, and continue the focus on fostering the rights and recognition that LGBTQ2+ Canadians deserve. The road that led us to this point has been a long one: by continuing with our multitudes of diversity initiatives and goals we continue to get stronger and more effective while ensuring we value what is most important to us – our people. Show us your Pride by showing off your rainbow colours. Deadline for submissions of photos is August 31, 2020.

Image gallery

  • Name: Penny Foster – Rank: Civilian and veteran – Caption: Inclusion starts with me! Showing my Pride!
  • Name: Rebecca Patterson – Rank: Commander Rebecca Patterson, Director General Professional Military Conduct - Operation HONOUR, Defence Champion for Women Canadian Armed Forces – Caption: The symbol of Pride working in perfect harmony with a quintessential military monument of strength and remembrance.
  • Plaque reads: This monument was designed and built with pride by members of 21 EW Regiment for the parts of a Leopard Armoured Engineering Vehicle with suffered a mine strike on 26 Jul 2008.
  • Name: Rebecca Patterson – Rank: Commander Rebecca Patterson, Director General Professional Military Conduct - Operation HONOUR, Defence Champion for Women Canadian Armed Forces – Caption: The symbol of Pride working in perfect harmony with a quintessential military monument of strength and remembrance.
  • Name: Rebecca Patterson – Rank: Commander Rebecca Patterson, Director General Professional Military Conduct - Operation HONOUR, Defence Champion for Women Canadian Armed Forces – Caption: The symbol of Pride working in perfect harmony with a quintessential military monument of strength and remembrance.
  • Name: Melanie Marr – Rank: Master Corporal, Technical Services Branch, 5th Canadian Division Support Base, Gagetown – Caption: The inaugural Executive of the Gagetown Pride Network joined by BGen Osmond and GSM Kane showing their Pride at the front gates of 5 CDSB Gagetown 26 June 2020.
  • Name: Laura-Lee Balkwill – Rank: Senior Advisor, Community Management/Diversity & Inclusion, Directorate Workforce Programs and Services, DGWD, HR-Civ – Caption: Rocking my new video conference background for Pride Month. Proud to be an LGBTQ2+ Ally and DND Positive Space Ambassador! – Background reads: LGBTQ2+ Ally, positive space starts with me, stronger together at DND
  • Name: Arne Backhouse – Rank: Captain, Duty Watch Officer, 14 Operational Support Squadron, 14 Wing – Caption: As a bigender member of the Defence Team, I am proud to be able to serve my country freely expressing my whole self. After requesting the raising of the Rainbow Pride flag for a second year in a row, I had also requested and received full support from 14 Wing Greenwood leadership, and for the first time, that the Transgender flag be flown at the Wings main gate to close out Pride month; June 2020. 01 June: Rainbow flag raising in male expression. 23 June: Transgender flag raising in female expression. 14 Wing Greenwood, Nova Scotia.
  • Pride looks a bit different this year, but we can still find meaningful ways to connect with each other and celebrate. As the interim Defence Team Pride Network Champion and the Defence Champion for Women, Pride is an opportunity for me to connect with the Defence Team Pride Network (DTPN). On June 19, we connected over Zoom to celebrate Pride from home. The DTPN members shared what Pride means to them, and I gave them advice about enacting change in the Department. This is how we show our Pride
  • Your Toronto Military Family Resource Team welcomes all members of the Military and Veteran family community to participate equally in our programs and services regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. We wish a very HAPPY PRIDE to all members of the LGBTQ+ community, in particular members of the Defence Team and their families. To demonstrate our Allyship we took pictures from our homes to make this collage during Toronto Pride June 2020!
Carolyn Clark: Executive Director - Jamie McKay, CD: Business Operations and Second Language Supervisor - Joanne O’Connor: Community Engagement Coordinator - Judy Sebastian: Family Separation & Reunion Coordinator - Kim Frost: Veteran Family Program Coordinator - Reba Fleury, QP, MSc: Family Liaison Officer  - Rebecka Mason: OSISS Family Peer Support Coordinator - Shara Claire, RP, EXAT: Prevention, Support, & Intervention Coordinator
  • Penny Foster – Rank: Civilian and veteran – Caption: Show your colours!
  • Rebecca Patterson – Rank: Commander Rebecca Patterson, Director General Professional Military Conduct - Operation HONOUR, Defence Champion for Women Canadian Armed Forces – Caption: There are literally rainbows all over the Campus at Carling!
  • Rebecca Patterson – Rank: Commander Rebecca Patterson, Director General Professional Military Conduct - Operation HONOUR, Defence Champion for Women Canadian Armed Forces – Caption: There are literally rainbows all over the Campus at Carling!
  • Rebecca Patterson – Rank: Commander Rebecca Patterson, Director General Professional Military Conduct - Operation HONOUR, Defence Champion for Women Canadian Armed Forces – Caption: There are literally rainbows all over the Campus at Carling!
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