June 1st, 2021
Since 2017, the Waterloo Region District School Board (WRDSB) has proudly raised the Pride flag on June 1 at every building across our school board as a symbol of recognition and support to the 2SLGBTQIA+ community, while also marking the beginning of Pride month.
On Monday, May 31, flags were lowered at our sites out of respect for Indigenous Peoples after the discovery of 215 children in an unmarked mass grave at the Kamloops Indian Residential School. The flags will remain lowered until sunset on Wednesday, June 9, 2021. This represents 215 hours in honour of each child’s life.
Pride flags will be raised at all schools this year on Thursday, June 10.
Deeper Reflection and Conversation
This year, we are encouraging deeper reflection and conversation around intersectionality and Pride. Pride month is recognized in June because of the Stonewall uprising on June 28, 1969. Marsha P. Johnson, a Black trans woman, played a key role in the Stonewall uprising alongside her good friend Sylvia Rivera, a Latina-American trans woman. The anniversary of the Stonewall protests prompted the first Pride parade in 1970.
We encourage the WRDSB community to take time to reflect on the significance of Pride month. We have many staff, students and community members that experience discrimination and harm or live in fear of sharing their true identity. As a community, we need to commit to actively addressing homophobia, transphobia and biphobia, as well as taking intentional actions in response to violence and discrimination against 2SLGBTQIA+ people.
We have a responsibility to foster inclusive learning environments where 2SLGBTQIA+ students and staff rights are protected and their identities valued.
Opportunities for Staff and Students
On June 10, WRDSB staff and students are invited to take part in a virtual Pride flag raising, hosted on a Google Meet live stream. As June is also recognized as Indigenous History Month, our Pride flag raising ceremony will highlight intersectionality and feature a member of the Two-Spirit community.
On June 15, staff are invited to take part in a panel discussion to hear the experiences of 2SLGBTQIA+ individuals as they navigated the school system with intersecting identities. Through listening to the panelist experiences, we hope that educators will understand the kinds of action they can take to ensure they are creating a space where students feel safe and where their identities are valued.
Staff are encouraged to refer to recent emails or the Staff Intranet for more information on these opportunities.
Opportunities for Families
Waterloo’s Rainbow History: 50 years of Glow
The City of Waterloo Museum along with the Glow Centre and SPECTRUM invites you on a tour of Waterloo’s Rainbow History.
- What: Waterloo’s Rainbow History: 50 Years of Glow
- Where: University of Waterloo Campus
- When: June 6, 2021 at 12 p.m. and 3 p.m.
The tour is free, however pre-registration is required. Please register at waterloo.ca/activewaterloo
Drag Queen Storytime
Celebrate Pride Month with a special “Reading is Fun-damental Drag Queen Storytime” video created by the ever-popular Fay & Fluffy. Their exciting show focuses on books, songs and includes lots of laughs.
They especially want to support families with LGBTQ2S parent(s) and gender variant children, and read culturally diverse books, by providing a supportive and inclusive environment focused on fun. Everyone is welcome.
- June 4 at 9:30 am
- June 8 at 11 am
- Idea Exchange: bit.ly/IEPride
- June 10 at 1:30 p.m.
- Waterloo Public Library: bit.ly/WPLPride
Proud to Be: A Variety Show hosted by THEMUSEUM
Jessica Plait is a trans woman and will be talking about the importance of being true to yourself. As well as share her experience being a trans woman in sports in a time where their participation is highly contested.
This show will also feature special guests, including TikTok Star and Canada’s Drag Race contestant, Kyne.
When: Wednesday June 2, 2021
Resources for Caregivers
We have put together some resources and videos to help answer questions and guide conversations caregivers may be having with their children.