Editorial: Celebrate Pride Week in the Comox Valley

It’s Pride Week in the Comox Valley – a week to celebrate inclusiveness and acceptance of every person as an equal, regardless of their sexual identity.

So, what can you do?

Accept. Include. Love one another, regardless of your, or their lot in society.

There are plenty of opportunities to participate in Pride Week. Events celebrating diversity are happening throughout our community, with a huge free public barbecue at Simms Park Saturday, from noon-5 p.m.

The Saturday event will feature live music all afternoon, a bounce castle and activity tent for the kids, and, of course, food, thanks to TD Bank and Thrifty Foods. (For other events, visit comoxvalleypride.ca)

While we relish the opportunity to celebrate life with others, Pride Week comes with mixed emotions.

In one way, it’s encouraging to see that as a society, we are beginning to understand that everyone is unique, in some form or another.

On the other hand, it’s sad to think that awareness campaigns such as Pride Week, and other initiatives set forth by LGBTQ communities worldwide, are even necessary.

But they are.

Wouldn’t it be great, for all involved, if two people who love each other could feel totally comfortable walking down the street, hand in hand?

We aren’t there yet, and that’s why Pride Week exists.

Members of the LGBTQ community are not asking for preferential treatment; they just want to be treated like everyone else.

Imagine, if you can, not being able to walk down Fifth Street, hand in hand with your partner, for fear of persecution. Imagine feeling unsafe in your own community, simply for being yourself.

True acceptance will not be realized until every person can feel safe, regardless of their sexual identity.

Hopefully there comes a time when the need for Pride Week no longer exists. Hopefully, someday, we as a society can recognize everyone as equal, regardless of gender, sexual identity, race, or religious beliefs, every day – not just for a designated week on a calendar.

We are certain most members of the LGBTQ community wish that same thing, nearly every day.

Sadly, we are still a long way away from that.

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