Toronto’s Pride celebrations are so special because they bring together a community that is silenced and marginalized and puts it on centre stage.
LGBTTIQQ2SA+-identified folks still face widespread discrimination and are more likely to experience violence and struggle with mental health challenges. Young people are particularly vulnerable as homophobic and transphobic attitudes can push them out of their homes and communities and limit their access to emergency shelter for fear of their safety. 20 to 40% of young people who are homeless identify as LGBTQ2S+. They are 3 times more likely to experience homelessness than their cisgendered and heterosexual counterparts.
A 2017 survey found that 81% of Canadian LGBT individuals have felt or feel distress, loneliness, isolation, or discouragement related to their sexual orientation or gender identity. Being made to feel like you don’t belong certainly leads to this outcome.
Belonging is critically important to our mental health and wellbeing. For children, it’s an important part of their development. When we collectively push people out, we give them little option but to suffer in silence and isolation.
At Eva’s, we’re striving to create safer spaces and foster a sense of belonging for people who identify as LGBTTIQQ2SA+. We’re so excited to join Pride Toronto celebrations again this year by marching in the parade on Sunday, June 24th!
Catch us there in our Eva’s shirts and carrying our “You Belong Here” banner.