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Why Pride Matters

Every year, June brings a plethora of rainbows into view. Pride month brings people together in parades, festivals, and many other community celebrations. As a young adult struggling with my own sexuality, Pride helped to bring people like me together so that we can learn from one another and celebrate our individuality. As a parent, Pride is the perfect time to teach our kids about diversity, inclusion, and love.

Since my sons were small, we’ve attended many Pride celebrations. At first, we enjoyed being spectators, but we quickly became active members of Pride. We’ve been in parades, organized family events, and in recent years I became co-director of Strathroy Pride.

 Celebrating Pride is more than just waving flags, dressing up in rainbows, face paint, and glitter – although these are likely the most fun parts! Celebrating Pride with your family is a chance to spend quality time together and discuss core family values of inclusivity and diversity. 

While much has changed for the better, we need to remember that we still live in a time where queer youth continue to experience regular bullying, verbal and physical abuse, and in some cases rejection from their own families. Suicide rates among 2SLGBTQIA+ youth ages 10-24 is five times higher than the national average. And they are also more likely to succeed or need serious hospitalization. Nobody should be made to feel this way and Pride is just one step toward helping our youth feel comfortable and safe being themselves.

Pride is also a time to educate and normalize our differences. Hate is rooted in ignorance, which can be changed. The more visible we are, the more we can teach about love and inclusivity, the more the community can embrace and understand one another. 

As parents, we all want a brighter future for our children. Being an active member of community Pride events has many rewards but the biggest one for me is helping my kids – and ALL youth – feel loved and accepted. My wish is that we can all understand each other a little better, help support one another, and help evolve our community to be a safe place for all.

Make a point this year to join your local Pride celebrations, show your support, and be a part of this magnificent movement!


Frank Emanuele is a proud father of two boys, a special education teacher, and a director of Dad Club London.


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