Pride marches are wonderful and happy times when the queer community converges to celebrate and demand to be respected and treated just like everyone else. They are part party, part oversexed extravaganza, and part political action. They have always been political and will hopefully stay that way in spite of the apparent domestication of some of the LGB part of LGBT communities which are increasingly accepted into mainstream cis (not trans) hetero (not gay) normative (presumed normal) society.
In this year’s Vancouver Pride March, organized annually by the Vancouver Pride Society, the requirement to pledge to support equal rights for transgender persons was added. Any organization wishing to participate in the march is required to pledge their support and everyone is encouraged to pledge. The Trans Equality Now web page explains the pledge.
For a number of organizations, the pledge’s request that the explicit protection already afforded against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation be extended to gender identity and gender presentation.
And this is important. The very real need for this legislation is well known and pride is a wonderful vehicle for making the point and showing a social litmus test of exactly who is willing to step up and admit they are unable to agree to help end the discrimination on the basis of gender identity in law.
Those organizations are run or supported by closed minded persons who, in fact, wish that society continue to discriminate on the basis of gender identity. They hide behind sweet words and pledges to change in the future, but their DNA is discriminatory against trans persons.
Needing to make a choice between participating in the pride march and irking the bigots in their midst is an added bonus of the pledge.
Society needs to know who the Bad Guy organizations are so we can protect it against their contagion. After all, they are the ones that are problematic and damaging. They are the one who discriminate against people on the basis of gender identity. and during the 2015 pride they will see they are wrong and that the vast majority of Canadians do not agree with their narrow, focused, mean viewpoint. It would be better not to have to take this route but sometimes calling people into the circle falls on deaf ears.
Note: The progressive members of organizations which are too regressive to sign the pledge and live up to it that wish to march in Pride are invited to join the Trans Alliance Society for the march. We welcome anyone who has signed the pledge to participate as themselves in our float. Our float designation is AS17, which means Staging Area A, South Side, position 17. We will congregate starting at 10:30 (the space opens at 9:30). Please contact the Trans Alliance Society chair at firstname.lastname@example.org to let TAS know you will attend.