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Pride Month – June 2023

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Pride Month – June 2023

happy pride month with flagPride Month is an annual event typically celebrated in June around the world. Over the course of the month, we strive to recognize and celebrate Two Spirit & LGBTQIA+ contributions and identities, and the allies who stand in solidarity and support. It is also a time of action; a time to raise awareness about the rise in discrimination, hate, and violence toward Two Spirit and LGBTQIA+ people and communities both locally and globally. 

To kick off Pride Month, the Progress Pride flag or Rainbow flags are being raised at the Education Centre and all HWDSB schools. The annual flag raising is to honour and celebrate students, families, staff, and members of our local communities who are of diverse gender identities and sexual orientations.

2021 marked the first time that all HWDSB schools raised the Rainbow Flag for the month of June. HWDSB has committed to replacing Rainbow flags with the newer Pride flags both this year and next year for all our schools. 

The reshaping of the original six-stripe Rainbow Pride Flag to incorporate the multi-coloured chevron on the left side of the Progress Pride Flag was done to represent a need for forward movement or progressing together in solidarity and centering all marginalized identities from Two Spirit and LGBTQIA+ communities. 

By raising Pride flags, HWDSB schools can symbolically show their solidarity with Two Spirit and LGBTQIA+ people, while recognizing there is still important, ongoing work to support human rights, equity, and inclusion of all identities from these intersectional and marginalized communities. 

Unfortunately, many students, staff, and families who identify as Two Spirit and LGBTQIA+ do not always feel safe at school or within their broader communities. Sexual orientation and gender identity play an important role in well-being and are often sources of harassment and discrimination. The unfortunate reality is hateful acts of harassment and violence are on the rise in our local communities, across Canada, and globally. As such, the importance of Pride Month celebrations, events, and the need for ally support, displays of solidarity and advocacy is critical to our Two Spirit and LGBTQIA+ students, families, staff, and local communities. 

Practices that support and empower Two Spirit and LGBTQIA+ people and communities help to provide safer and more inclusive learning and working environments throughout the entire year. With one in nine people identifying as LGBTQIA+, we know these identities are present in our schools and in need of support. Therefore, we have an obligation to represent Two Spirit & LGBTQIA+ identities through curriculum implementation and school and system practices that promote safety, respect, acceptance, and inclusion for all. 

This Pride Month, we challenge you to take any knowledge gained over these next few weeks and apply it to your work over the entire year. Your efforts will make a difference in your school and work communities, as even the smallest acts can have the greatest impacts.  

Thank you for helping all students, staff, families, and community members know they are welcome at HWDSB. 


Paul Denomme (he/him) 
Superintendent of Student Achievement, Equity and Safe Schools 

Additional Resources 

  • Speqtrum Hamilton – offers peer supports and community building for Two Spirit and LGBTQIA+ youth.
  • Trans Lifeline’s Hotline – a peer support phone service run by transgender people for transgender and questioning peers. 1- 877-330-6366.
  • Lesbian Gay Bi Trans Youth Line – confidential, non-judgmental, and informed peer support. 1(800) 268-9688 | Text – 647-694-4275 

evolution of the pride flag

Updated on Thursday, June 01, 2023.
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