Celebrated during the month of June, Pride Month both commemorates and celebrates 2SLGBTQ+ communities and culture. Beginning back in 1969, Pride is a growing movement and one which United Way Niagara is proud to support in allyship.
Pride is not just about one community; it is a celebration of diversity and inclusivity for all. Serving as a reminder that we need to value and embrace the unique identities and experiences of EVERY individual, regardless of their age, race, background, gender or sexual orientation. It is a time to reflect on the progress made while continuing advocacy, honour the struggles faced and most importantly spread the message of love, acceptance and empower everyone to be their authentic selves.
It’s all about being okay with being yourself – to have the freedom to exist, within yourself, your community and in this world
United Way Niagara is proud to support local programs like Rainbow Niagara’s Youth Engagement Program, supporting 2SLGBTQ+ youth at this critical time. Providing young individuals with social connections, mentorship, one-on-one support, resources and most importantly a place to belong will lead to a healthier, vibrant and more inclusive community for the future.
Quest – Rainbow Niagara is just one local partner supported by United Way Niagara that are making a difference in our community for local youth. When we asked our partners at Quest – Rainbow Niagara what Pride means to them, a common theme arose. “It’s all about being okay with being yourself – to have the freedom to exist, within yourself, your community and in this world,” explained Kai, the LGBTQ+ Youth Engagement Program Coordinator.
Safe spaces for youth to connect and develop a sense of community and emotional support is necessary for their well-being, their parents/caregiver’s well-being, and the community’s well-being
Gender and sexually diverse youth experience a variety of unique challenges and barriers. Without appropriate support and connection with others who have a shared experience, youth can often feel alone, isolated, stressed and experience mental health challenges. The Youth Engagement Program at Quest – Rainbow Niagara, ensures there is a safe space for youth to explore their identities, helping to fill a previous gap in crucial services for this age group.