June 1st marks the beginning of Pride Month, which celebrates the 2SLGBTQIA+ * community. Pride also reminds us all to reflect on the continued fight against discrimination and hate. The origin of Pride stems from the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in New York City. Beginning with a raid on June 28th, 1969 at the Stonewall Inn in Manhattan, over the course of a week thousands gathered at the Stonewall Inn. Protests against the New York City police department by 2SLGBTQIA+ groups lasted for a six day period. Although protests had occurred before, this uprising marked the beginning of a fundamental change in the perception of sexual orientation and gender identity on a broad scale. Many countries now host Pride parades, picnics, parties, workshops, symposia, concerts and other events to reflect on the contributions, achievements, and struggles of 2SLGBTQIA+ people.
ArtsBuild Ontario encourages people to learn about and support 2SLGBTQIA+ spaces and organizations. While we highlight three Toronto-based groups here, we recognize that there are many others across the province and Canada. ArtsBuild Ontario does not discriminate and does not tolerate discrimination, against anyone based on their sexual preference, or gender identity, or mental and/or physical ability, and we strive to represent this commitment in our actions. Support for our 2SLGBTQIA+ colleagues, friends, and family doesn’t end when June does.
This is a Toronto-based organization that is committed providing accessible, affirming performing arts training & creation programs for women and non-binary youth from equity-seeking communities. The AMY Project strives to break down barriers which cause youth to be unable to pursue their artistic passions. Whether social, economic, racial, etc, The AMY Project fights these systemic inequities to foster a safe and creative space. As part of their mandate, they offer “free performing arts training programs serving young women and non-binary youth. AMY breaks down barriers to participation by providing meals and transportation; accessible, queer and trans inclusive and anti-racist environments; one-on-one mentorship”.
*We recognize that this acronym does not encompass all sexualities, gender identities and expressions. ArtsBuild Ontario recognizes that there is a wide spectrum and our intention is to be as inclusive as we can. For more information on terminology, click here.