Celebrating Victoria Pride Week and the ongoing struggle for justice and equality

- President Kevin Hall

A hand holds up a Pride flag and a Trans Pride flag in front of the McPherson Library

Happy Pride to the 2SLGBTQIA+ (Two-Spirit, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, Asexual, and more) members of the UVic and Victoria community!

The theme of this year’s Victoria Pride celebration is “Finding Power through Community Connection.” Pride has always been about both celebrating visibility and joining together in a struggle for justice—and this year, Victoria Pride week coincides with the anniversary of Stonewall.

Fifty-two years ago today, Pride as we now know it began as a rebellion against police violence. Police raids, which were common in 2SLGBTQIA+ gathering places, targeted the clientele of the Stonewall Inn in New York City. That day the people fought back, and it would not be the last time. A diverse community came together to say that they deserved freedom, equality and safety—a just world for 2SLGBTQIA+ people. Their legacy continues as we celebrate Pride each year. 

The leaders of this group were Black, Latinx, people of colour, trans and gender non-conforming—people like Stormé DeLaverie, Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera. Their stories, and many more, can be found in UVic’s Transgender Archives. They deserve to be recognized for their leadership, the risks they took and the many ways in which the world has become a more welcoming place. Their fight has benefited many of us and continues to this day. 

While in many ways Pride is now a celebration—and there are many reasons to celebrate—the need for justice continues. In addition to celebrating, I encourage you to spend some time this week learning about the many reasons we still need Pride.

At UVic, we know that the work of creating a gender- and sexuality-inclusive community continues. This knowledge is embedded in our commitments to making equity, diversity, inclusion and anti-racism central values and goals across our community. This is part of the work we have undertaken through our equity action planning process.