Thursday, August 17, 2017
Kind in Pride: The Pride parade
To start we want to give a heartfelt thank you to everyone who participated in our Annual General Meeting, the online survey, in-person consultation, and the many one-on-one conversations you’ve had with us over the last couple of months.
After carefully listening to our membership and our broader communities, Kind has decided to march in the pride parade.
For people who are newly out, or considering coming out, Pride is a symbol of acceptance and community. Unfortunately, as we have also heard, too often Pride celebrations and events fail to live up to that symbol; and people looking for a supportive community find corporations, gatekeeping, and institutions instead. As we have done the last couple of years, Kind will offer an alternative space before, during, and after the parade, and we plan on letting new people, who might otherwise not find us, know that this is available. We would like to be able to offer connection and community to those who are looking for it.
Many of our members, both in person and through our survey, have told us that the pride parade is the first place they went after they came out. They would not have found Kind if we were not there.
This was not an easy decision and it certainly was not a unanimous one, either for our Board of Directors or communities. This decision was made as a result of a long, careful, and sustained dialogue from members, service providers, and the broader community about our values, and how we move forward to build better futures for the communities we serve. We’re grateful to our communities for their input, and to the local, regional, and international leadership of groups like Black Lives Matter who continue to center and amplify the voices of QTBIPoC – Queer and Trans Black, Indigenous, People of Colour – and work to bring attention to the marginalization and discrimination of people of colour in queer and trans communities.
As a nonprofit organization we have access to resources and funding streams that are not accessible to other community-led groups and organizations without nonprofit or charitable status. In the spirit of “paying it forward” and sharing our resources with other organizations who face institutional barriers to development, Kind is donating the equivalent amount of our pride parade registration fee to the Native Youth Sexual Health Network.
Where we are now
We reaffirm our ongoing commitment to building accessible communities of care, not just during pride but every day throughout the year. We demonstrate this commitment through year-round service to our communities, with various free or sliding scale programs such as:
- 10 peer-led discussion/support groups
- 4 community-based collectives
- Weekly social drop-in
- Professional counselling program
- Weekly gym program
- Dr. Kelly McGinnis library
- Meeting space for community groups, collectives, and organizations
- Letters of support for LGBTTQ+ refugees
- Open space and programming over Christmas and New Years
Creating spaces and opportunities for connection, learning, and growth for our communities is our only interest.
What comes after
This is not the end of the conversation. We encourage input from our membership and plan to have another community meeting after pride to reflect on and reassess our relationship with the parade. Thank you for your ongoing support and understanding as we navigate these complex situations and realities.
We’re excited to hear and learn more from you!
– Kind Board of Directors
Kind in Pride Community Survey Results: View the report here