Sisters, Brothers, and Kin,
Pride Month in the U.S. and Canada is celebrated each June to recognize and honor the LBGTQIA+ community. June was chosen as it commemorates the Stonewall Riots/Uprising that occurred in New York City in 1969, which is considered the catalyst for the modern LGBTQIA+ rights movement. For those that are unaware, the uprising occurred when the LGBTQIA+ patrons of the Stonewall Inn had finally had enough of the police harassment and persecution of the Community, and fought back. One year later, in June 1970, the first Pride March was held to mark the anniversary of the riots/uprising. Last year, WorldPride was held in NYC to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the riots/uprising, and this year marks the 50th anniversary of the first U.S. Pride march.
Canada experienced their equivalent in 1981 with the Toronto Bathhouse Raids. On February 1981, patrons of four Toronto bathhouses were surprised by 200 police officers in a series of coordinated raids, called “Operation Soap.” Bathhouse patrons were subjected to excessive behaviour by police, including verbal taunts about their sexuality. When the night was over, 286 men were charged for being found in a common bawdy house and 20 for operating a bawdy house. At that time, it was the largest single arrest in Toronto’s history. Most of those arrested were found innocent. The raids marked a turning point for Canada’s gay community, as the protests that followed indicated they would no longer endure derogatory treatment from the police, media, and the public. Although the raids occurred in February, Canada joins countries across the world in celebrating Pride Month in June.
So, what has the IATSE Pride Committee got planned for Pride Month?
So far, we have held two Pride Town Halls and both had an incredible turn out! The first was an introduction to the Committee that included an encouraging opening speech by International President Loeb. Our second was regarding Mental Health & Wellness and included a presentation by Local One’s Healthcare Coordinator, Nneka Symister. Our aim is to hold a town hall every second Friday at 2:00pm EDT (11:00am PDT). However, for Pride month we are adding a few extra virtual social events.
June 12: BONUS: Virtual Pride March/Parade
June 19: Town Hall: Celebrating Diversity
June 26: BONUS: Virtual Tea Dance
These are open to both members/permits who identify as LGBTQIA+, as well as allies. More details and registration links (as available) can be found on the IATSE Pride Upcoming Events page.
If you want to be kept up to date with the happenings of the Committee and get first dibs at registering for events, you should consider signing up to our mailing list.
Due to the pandemic, most Pride celebrations have been cancelled and so, on Saturday, June 27th, organizations around the world will be coming together for a 24-hour virtual “Global Pride”. Details are still being worked out, but we will make sure to post more on our website, and send out via our mailing list, once we have the specifics.
LOCAL PRIDE COMMITTEES
Does your local have a Pride Committee? We want to connect! We are publishing a list on our website so that members can easily find contact information for their local’s pride committee. Please send us your committee’s name, contact email, and, if they feel comfortable, your chair’s name and pronouns and we will post them on the Pride Committees section of our website.
If your pride committee is under a different banner (for example, a diversity committee) that’s great, too! We will add whatever info we are provided. You can email us committee info at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If your local doesn’t currently have a pride committee, Pride Month is the perfect time to consider starting one!
The Comms Dept has been running some really inspirational member stories regarding the awesome things our members have been doing to help during the COVID-19 crisis. For Pride Month, they would also like to gather stories from our LGBTQIA+ identifying members to help celebrate our community within the IATSE. If you would like to take part, you can fill out this info sheet.
The IATSE Pride Committee uses our mailing list to communicate directly with our LGBTQIA+ membership and allies. Anyone who’s interested should sign up to be kept in the loop. Mailing list recipients are also the first to receive the registration links for our bi-weekly Town Halls, so if you want to make sure that you get first crack at reserving a spot, please sign up here.
We want to wish everyone a happy Pride Month and hope you can join in on some of our upcoming pride activities!
In pride and solidarity,
The IATSE Pride Committee