June is Pride Month in Canada. It’s a time when we celebrate diversity and LGBTQ communities, recognize their history, the hardships they have endured and the progress that has been made.
While events are a little different this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve put together a few resources so you can still celebrate and learn how to support your LGBTQ Canadians.
With LGBTQ stories
During Pride Month, we feature members of Saskatchewan’s LGBTQ community. Take a read to be inspired by these real life stories.
Kelsey Sproat, a social media influencer from Regina, has been repressing her authentic self since kindergarten. Last fall, Sproat chose to embrace her life as a transgender woman and proudly announced the change of more than 38,000 people on Twitter. She is now documenting her journey on a new account called @BecomingKelsey. Learn more.
Michael Megenbir, a Regina teacher who publicly revealed himself as transgender while teaching in 2017, paved the way for more conversations about inclusion in schools. Learn more.
Josephine Kroeker and Shala Neufeld, both members of the LGBTQ community and business owners in Saskatchewan, speak out and educate consumers about “rainbow capitalism”. Learn more.
From organizing events to major educational opportunities, here is a list of Pride nonprofits in Saskatchewan. Please let us know if there is one we missed that you would like to add to the list!
From employment tax assistance to an annual camp for gender and sexually diverse youth, Saskatchewan is full of support. Here are links to several of these resources.
Watch with pride
Celebrate Pride Month with films, documentaries and series telling the stories of the LGTBQ community on CBC Gem. Here are some highlights:
Song of fire
The film stars Andrew Martin as Shane, a bisexual Aboriginal teenager. When his sister, Destiny, commits suicide just weeks before he leaves his community to go to college, he is forced to struggle to decide whether to follow his dreams or stay home to help his family. . This film received the Audience Choice Award for Best Narrative Feature at the Reelout Queer Film Festival, where it was screened at the opening gala in 2016, and was named both Best Picture and Best Canadian Film at the Queer North Film Festival in 2016.
Slide children is a Canadian documentary film centered around Queen Lactatia, Laddy GaGa, Suzan Bee Anthony and Bracken Hanke, four young children from Canada, the United States and Europe who perform as drag artists and have performed together for the first time at Montreal Pride in 2018. The film was announced as the winner of the Best Canadian Feature Film award from the Inside Out Film and Video Festival in 2019.
Take me to the ball
Take me to the ball is a documentary that traces the evolution of acceptance of LGBTQ in society by asking a multigenerational selection of LGBTQ people to tell a story from their prom. The film won the best short documentary at the Canadian Screen Award in 2020.
Keyboard fantasies: the Beverly Glenn-Copeland
Keyboard Fantasies: The Beverly Glenn-Copeland Story sees the protagonist dedicating his life and his music to screening for the first time – an intimate coming of age story transforming the pain and suffering of prejudice into rhythm, hope and joy.
- At the heart of Vogue
New to CBC Gem, this film celebrates the colorful, queer, emotional and political stories of Northern Vogue and its people.
Other films or series to watch:
Netflix Documentary Secret love highlights the 71-year love story of two Saskatchewan-born women, including baseball legend Terry Donahue. You can learn more about their history and the documentary here.
Gender and Sexual Diversity Video Series – Saskatchewan Voices
Using students’ voices to capture their experience as they explore their gender identity, this video series explores the types of supports young people need to feel accepted and safe in Saskatchewan schools. Learn more here.
Books to read
Check out these books from Canadian LGBTQ designers.
- 16 Canadian books to read for Pride Month, Radio-Canada books
Illustrated books to read with children
Celebrate Pride Month by reading one of these books for young children, middle school students and picture books written by Canadian LGBTQ writers. Here are some highlights:
Rain boy by Dylan Glynn
Rain Boy gets wet all the time! This means he’s not as popular as Sun Kidd, who brings sunny weather all the time. But Sun Kidd knows that Rain Boy is special too and invites him to his birthday party. But when the party gets all wet, everyone blames Rain Boy. But can Rain Boy learn to love his rain? This weather-themed story is about acceptance and love to love each other no matter who they are.
Rain Boy is for ages 3-5.
Salma the Syrian leader by Danny Ramadan, illustrated by Anna Bron
In Salma the Syrian leader, Salma wants to cook a comfort food to lift the spirits of her mom, who between English lessons, job interviews and the lack of her husband in Syria, always seems busy or sad. Syrian culture is represented through the meal Salma cooks and the vibrant illustrations by Anna Bron, while the diversity of the characters is a testament to the power of cultivating community under difficult circumstances.
Salma the Syrian leader is for 4-7 years old.
I promise by Catherine Hernandez, illustrated by Syrus Marcus Ware
I promise is a representation of all the joys and challenges of parenthood and a celebration of the many different forms loving families take.
I promise is intended for readers aged 3 to 8.
Yell edited by Andrew Wheeler
This comic book anthology features a fun and vibrant collection of fantasy and sci-fi comics featuring LGBTQ heroes, from cyberpunks to Viking enthusiasts and demon hunters. 37 artists and designers from all over the world are featured in this book. It is edited by Andrew Wheeler of Toronto, with a striker by award-winning sci-fi writer Nalo Hopkinson.
Yell is for 13-17 year olds.
Laura Dean keeps breaking up with me by Mariko Tamaki, illustrated by Rosemary Valero-O’Connell
Laura Dean keeps breaking up with me is a graphic novel about a teenage girl named Freddy who can’t seem to leave her girlfriend, the popular and enigmatic Laura Dean. Although they continue to go their separate ways and get back together, Freddy wonders whether to forgive Laura’s many indiscretions – while taking her friendships for granted.
Laura Dean keeps breaking up with me is for ages 14 and over.
Music and podcasts
Radio-Canada Music curated this playlist to honor some of Canada’s great LGBTQ artists including Orville Peck, Beverly Glenn-Copeland, Peaches, James Baley, Witch Prophet, Wares and more. Relax and listen to the playlist.
Radio-Canada podcast at The village. Host Justin Ling explores the many cases of missing and murdered men in Toronto’s gay community, dating back to the 1970s. What social forces have kept these cases unresolved and even overlooked?
Queering the Queen City Walking Audio Tour: Co-created by Dr Claire Carter and Evie Johnny Ruddy, this walking tour will give you the opportunity to learn about the history of Regina’s LGBTQ community. Take your shoes and go to explore. Here is the trailer.
Virtual events and webinars to attend
Saskatoon Pride Festival organizes events virtually. Global discussions on trans rights and responses to the virtual pride parade, here are all opportunities to join in the celebration.
UR Pride Positive Spaces Network program has two webinars in June. One is an introductory topic on June 3 from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. CST on Identity and Privilege. The other is June 4 from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. CST on diverse families. Learn more here.
Pride on the Prairies: Queer History in Saskatchewan (1969-2020): An exhibit from the Diefenbaker Canada Center in partnership with the USSU Pride Center. Organized by Megan Gorsalit. Learn more here.
How do you celebrate pride month? Do you have an event or a resource to add? Email us at [email protected]