May 17th has been proclaimed to be International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia in the City of Grande Prairie. Officials with the Gay and Lesbian Association of the Peace, alongside city councillors and members of the Grande Prairie Pride Society and Grande Prairie Friendship Centre, celebrated the proclamation by raising a rainbow flag outside City Hall on Thursday.
The theme of the 2020 event, Breaking The Silence, recognizes that although the protection of LGBTQI+ people has greatly expanded and this progress is well worth celebrating, in many places around the world, LGBTQI+ people still face injustice and live in fear and danger.
Vice President of GALAP Yaxkin Posasz says Canada has a huge variety of cultures and backgrounds but, unfortunately, some are less accepting than others.
“It’s so sad that people need to feel ashamed, or need to hide, or it’s not ok to be who they are… breaking the silence, and being able to be proud of who you are and who you love and having people out there to tell you it’s ok.”
Posasz is asking residents of the Peace Country to help mark May 17th by getting to know members of the LGBTQI+ community by simply getting to know them for who they are.
“Get to know them… what they like, what do they do for their communities, what are they interested in,” she says.
“We kind of find ways to connect as human beings and we realize, hey, we aren’t all that different.”
International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia is recognized on May 17th to commemorate the World Health Organization’s decision in 1990 to declassify homosexuality as a mental disorder.