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Happy Pride Month!


Jun 14, 2024

What is 2SLGBTQI+ Pride Month? 

Two-Spirit, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, and additional people who identify as part of sexual and gender diverse communities who use additional terminologies (2SLGBTQI+) is the acronym used in Canada. In French, it is 2ELGBTQI+. 

Pride is celebrated annually in June and aims to promote acceptance, equality and raise awareness of issues affecting the 2SLGBTQI+ community. People worldwide celebrate love, inclusion and the intersectional struggle for acceptance. In the United States, LGBTQIA+ Pride Month is observed to commemorate the Stonewall Riots, which took place at the end of June 1969.

Since then, Pride Month has expanded into a worldwide movement, incorporating festivities, advocacy, and unity. It serves as a poignant reminder of the persistent challenges encountered by 2SLGBTQI+ communities worldwide, ranging from stigma and discrimination to violence and infringements on rights.

The 2SLGBTQI+ acronym plays a crucial role in fostering inclusivity and representation. It aims to be an inclusive way to acknowledge diverse gender identities and sexual orientations. Adding other identities to the acronym is also significant in recognizing and linking them to a broader community. It implies that these individuals can receive increased acknowledgment from the society at large, enhancing their visibility instead of being disregarded, overlooked, or denied. We must celebrate the joy, resilience and beauty that 2SLGBTQI+ people showcase every day.

Below are notable events in the history of Pride in Canada:
- Canada decriminalized homosexual acts between consenting adults on May 14, 1969, with the enactment of the Criminal Law Amendment Act, which was initially introduced in December 1968. It received royal assent on June 27, coincidentally one day before the Stonewall Riots erupted in New York.
- On August 28, 1971, approximately 100 individuals from Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto, and nearby regions congregated at Parliament Hill despite pouring rain for Canada's inaugural Gay Liberation Protest and March.
- On February 5, 1981, Toronto police conducted raids on four gay bathhouses in the city under the banner of "Operation Soap," resulting in the arrest of about 300 men. Many of these individuals had their charges dropped or dismissed later on. In response to this injustice, rallies were organized, and this event is frequently likened to Canada's version of the Stonewall Riots.
- Launched on August 28, 2022, the Federal 2SLGBTQI+ Action Plan (Action Plan) envisioned to create a more equitable Canada for 2SLGBTQI+ communities, for present and future generations. 

The Avon Company supports 2SLGBTQI+ employees all year round! 
- Inclusion of all gender identities and sexual orientations through influencer partnerships on our social media account. 
- Avon covers same-sex/opposite-sex dependents for Medical and Dental benefits.  
- Supplement top-ups to maternity/parental/adoption benefits.
- Employee Assistance Program for professional and confidential help for things like family, parenting, emotional, additional, relationship and stress/anxiety. 
Representation in the Beauty Business: 
- 2SLGBTQI+ representation across various roles in the workforce is low, notably at senior executive levels. Seeing ourselves in positions of influence within business organizations while openly being who we are, is deeply empowering and revolutionary. 
 - Transgender workers face greater barriers in the workplace, from job offers to career advancement. 
 - The history of 2SLGBTQI+ workers' rights has denied 2SLGBTQI+ individuals jobs, benefits, insurance, protections and equitable protections. 
 - When brands like Avon aren't afraid to show the vast diversity of "beauty" by showing queer, non-binary, trans and others in the spectrum, they are showing the world that we are SEEN. 
 - Being seen and acknowledged is especially important for at-risk populations, including children and youth contemplating suicide. 
Ways to be an ally and better support the 2SLGBTQI+ community:
- Talk openly with your straight and/or cisgender friends about your 2SLGBTQI+ friends and family and the issues they face. 
- Make sure that you include the partners of your 2SLGBTQI+ loved ones in events and activities, just as you would any other friend's spouse or significant other. 
- Attend pride celebrations and other 2SLGBTQI+ community events. 
- If you hear an anti-2SLGBTQI+ comment or joke, speak up and explain why such comments or jokes are harmful and offensive. 
- Integrate inclusive language into your regular conversations, professional interactions and/or spiritual life. 
- Read an 2SLGBTQI+ publication. 

Here are some great 2SLGBTQI+ Books for Recommended Reading: 
1.) Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More - is a memoir and the debut book by Janet Mock, a NY Times best-selling author and transgender activist. Featured by Oprah, she discusses her powerful journey, the importance of speaking your truth, and becoming the person you know you were always meant to be. Janet offers insight into not only her transgender experience but also the importance of creating a vision for what is possible and shows us how to see and accept one another through love. Janet's first memoir, "Redefining Realness," details her bold and inspiring perspective on being young, multicultural and transgender in America. Janet says her journey is similar to that of many people: "I think that we're all searching for the truth. I was constantly, as a person, going through this society trying to figure out who I was in relation to what people were telling me I should be. And so, for me, 'Redefining Realness' was about tapping into my most authentic self. Who am I to me?" 
2.) The Stonewall Reader - For the fiftieth anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, an anthology chronicling the tumultuous fight for LGBTQ rights in the 1960s and the activists who spearheaded it, put out by the New York Public Library. 
3.) The Deviant's War: The Homosexual vs. the United States of America - From a young Harvard- and Cambridge-trained historian, the secret history of the fight for gay rights that began a generation before Stonewall. In 1957, Frank Kameny, a rising astronomer working for the U.S. Defense Department in Hawaii, received a summons to report immediately to Washington, D.C. The Pentagon had reason to believe he was a homosexual, and after a series of humiliating interviews, Kameny, like countless gay men and women before him, was promptly dismissed from his government job. Based on firsthand accounts, recently declassified FBI records, and forty thousand personal documents, the story unfolds over the course of the 1960s, as the Mattachine Society of Washington, the group Kameny founded, became the first organization to protest the systematic persecution of gay federal employees 
Other important 2SLGBTQI+ dates to remember:  
March 31st is International Transgender Day of Visibility - this day is dedicated to celebrating transgender peoples' contribution to the world and raising awareness of discrimination facing transgender people worldwide.