The Municipality of Clare, in partnership with la Sociéteé acadienne de Clare, held a pride flag-raising ceremony on May 15 to mark the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalization of homosexuality in Canada as well as to commemorate the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia.
The Municipality of Clare is among 50 municipalities across Canada that took part in the awareness-raising initiative, which was led by the national project Standing by our colours/Affichons nos couleurs.
The event served to shed light on the issues faced by the 2SLGBTQ+ (Two Spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer) community over the years, the successes and the progress made until now, as well as a perspective on the present and the future.
“We raise the pride flag to celebrate the diversity of our community and to affirm the importance of friendship and respect for all our neighbours, notably those in the 2SLGBTQ+ community,” said Ronnie LeBlanc, warden for the Municipality of Clare. “Our municipality stands for the freedom of all residents, regardless of their origin, race, religion or sexual orientation.”
Natalie Robichaud, executive director of the Société acadienne de Clare, reflected on the common experiences of both communities.
“In Nova Scotia, francophones are a minority that are sometimes marginalized. Members of the 2SLGBTQ+ community are too often marginalized. There is a natural solidarity between both communities. As minorities, it’s important for us to support each other. After all, diversity and inclusion are tools to make us stronger.”
An estimated 75 people attended the flag-raising ceremony at the municipal office, including members of the student group Arc-Ensemble from École Secondaire de Clare. Students Evelyn LeBlanc-Joyce and Tristan MacAlpine spoke at the event.
“I am hoping people driving by the municipality will see the flag and think of how far we have come,” said MacAlpine.