Members of Grande Prairie city council and the community gathered at city hall for a pride flag-raising ceremony, standing against homophobia, transphobia, and biphobia.
Gay and Lesbian Association of the Peace President Yax Posas has been working with the organization for the past ten years. She says the day is of critical importance.
“May 17th commemorates the day where the LGBTQI2S+ rights are recognized. It also recognizes the day when homosexuality was removed from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. It means a lot that we are able to be here today and it’s kind of telling of the community at large. You are normal, you are accepted, you are a part of this community and society.”
Posas feels that it is important to choose our words carefully and make sure we are not discriminating against other people.
“It starts with awareness and reviewing our own perspectives. If someone tells you that they think you’re being racist or homophobic, listen to them. Take a step back and think about what you might’ve said or done to offend someone, ask yourself if you meant what you said.”
Posas is optimistic with organizations such as GALAP and the Grande Prairie Pride Society, the community continues to make progress on being more inclusive and accepting.
“If we want to learn more about what it means to be gay or what it means to be a part of an organization like GALAP there are a lot of resources here in Grande Prairie that you can access and you can also find out more online. The more resources we have, the more we can face the new challenges in life.”
Posas appreciates the occasion, but she also emphasizes that this is an issue that needs to be thought about every single day.
“On Mother’s Day, for example, you celebrate your mother for one day. We should be grateful every day for them. This is just an idea especially for the younger generations to show them that there are people out there who care about them and will accept them for who they are,” she adds.
“If you know someone who belongs to the LGBTQI2S+ community, always give yourself the opportunity to know them as a person. We are more than just a label.”