Credit: Rainbow Crosswalk in Surrey. File photo, 2018.
Explore ways to celebrate Pride Month this June.
Each June, LGBTQ2IA+ communities around the world celebrate Pride Month in honour of the 1969 Stonewall riots in Manhattan. The riots were a tipping point in LGBTQ2IA+ history and are credited for giving birth to the modern LGBTQ2IA+ rights movement.
In recognition of Pride Month, the City will be:
- Highlighting stories and collections through our communications channels
- Lighting the Civic Plaza in rainbow from June 18 to June 27
- Sharing curated Pride reading lists from Surrey Libraries:
During Pride Month, many communities hold pride parades and celebrations to recognize diverse sexual and gender identities, histories and cultures. This is also a time to advocate and take a positive stance against discrimination and violence toward the LGBTQ2IA+ community.
Join an event to celebrate or learn more about LGBTQ2IA+ history:
Arts & Culture
Pride in Surrey Shines Through: A Pride filled day for the local community to enjoy. Hosted by Surrey Civic Theatres and Surrey Archives on June 10.
Emergence: Out of the Shadows: A gripping and thoughtful local documentary featuring true stories of coming out in the South Asian community in Metro Vancouver. Part of Pride in Surrey Shines Through.
The Rainbow Flame Pride Storytelling Event: hear from established storytellers from the LGBTQ2S+ community, with original music stirred in. Part of Pride in Surrey Shines Through.
Speaker Series: Pride Month: Join Alex DeForge from QMUNITY to discuss visibility within the community. Hosted by Museum of Surrey on June 14
Show and Share: Surrey Pride: Explore objects that show the diversity of Surrey’s Rainbow community. Hosted by Museum of Surrey all month.
Youth Pride Dance: Enjoy a fun, inclusive and welcoming dance for youth ages 13-18. Hosted in partnership with Surrey Schools and Youth for a Change on June 2.
Teen Pride Jam: 2SLGBTQIA+ themed trivia, crafts, and activities for teens ages 13-18. Hosted by Surrey Libraries on June 3.
Teen Pride Alliance: Monthly program for ages 13-19. Hosted by Surrey Libraries on June 7.
Rainbow Reads: Online book club for ages 19 and older. Hosted by Surrey Libraries on June 13.
LGBTQ2IA+ Rights in Canada
LGBTQ2IA+ rights in Canada has made steady gains since the 1960s. Some notable milestones include:
- 1969: amendments were made to the Criminal Code to decriminalize homosexuality
- 1996: the Canadian Human Rights Act was amended to include sexual orientation as one of the prohibited grounds of discrimination
- 2005: Canada became the fourth country worldwide to legalize same-sex marriage
Learn more about the chronology of LGTBTQ+ advances in Canada and in BC through the BC Teachers' Federation site.
Rainbow flags are used to symbolize LGBTQ2IA+ pride. In Surrey, a rainbow flag is featured prominently at the crosswalk of University Drive and 100 Ave in City Centre.
The first rainbow flag was designed by artist Gilbert Baker in 1978. He was quoted in an interview saying, "Our job as gay people was to come out, to be visible, to live in the truth, as I say, to get out of the lie. A flag really fit that mission, because that's a way of proclaiming your visibility or saying, 'This is who I am!'"