Pride Statement

The Hamilton Community Legal Clinic (HCLC)’s  Queer Justice Project (QJP)  wish a happy Pride to all Two-Spirit + LGBTQIAPGNC community members in Hamilton and around the world! 


Each year, Pride is a time for celebration and reflection, but fundamentally, it is always important to remember that it started as a riot, a protest, and a movement. Increasingly, the origins of Pride seem more relevant to our present than perhaps they were for a period. We had seen steady progress made in terms of both legal reforms and social acceptance for most Queer identities. 


However, this past year in particular, we have witnessed words and actions by Canadian governments and major political parties that signal that the progress we have enjoyed is now under immediate threat. Our communities have witnessed and been the target of new policies and laws that violate our human rights and jeopardize our safety, and there is reason to expect more may come in the future. 

Sadly, this year, a recent Global News article published on May 25, 2024, titled “CSIS Warns Some LGBTQ2 Events, Venues May Face Threats from ‘Lone Actors’,” highlights an alarming trend. The article recounts a harrowing incident at the University of Waterloo, where a hate-motivated attack during a gender studies class injured two students and a professor. This brutal act was a premeditated assault driven by hatred towards gender expression and gender identity.

The Two-Spirit and LGBTQIAPGNC communities are uniting with renewed determination and resilience. In response to escalating threats and hostility, communities are taking decisive and thoughtful actions on multiple fronts.  Communities are countering the spread of harmful false narratives, launching legal challenges against discriminatory government actions, and bolstering security measures to safeguard Queer events. Additionally, they are organizing protests and counter-protests, standing firm against the rising tide of human rights violations, hate and hostility. Just as they (we) have always done, we are confronting adversity with solidarity and unwavering courage.

Through it all, the spirit and joy of Queer communities will always shine through. Hate will not be allowed to define us, and nor does the seemingly constant need to struggle for our own liberation. Pride is a reminder of the where we have been, those we have lost, what there is still to do. We have the right to live our lives in joy and love, including in this moment. 


This year, we also want to acknowledge all other struggles for liberation across the world. Queerness spans all of human experience, and intersects with every other possible identity at some point. As a result, every struggle for liberation and equality is a Queer struggle as well. Our communities overwhelmingly recognize that, and it is why our communities often demonstrate truly beautiful acts of solidarity across movements. Queerness rights are human rights. 


We are powerful, and so let this year’s Pride serve as a rallying cry as well. In our own struggles for peace and equality, and in solidarity with Two-Spirit + LGBTQIAPGNC around the world who face considerable threats, torture and criminalization. We will be free, we will be equal, we will be safe, and we will be Proud.